PARENTS, pupils and headteachers gathered across the city to protest at cuts to school funding.

Protesters in Brighton and Hove unfurled banners highlighting the financial plight of schools as part of the parent-led campaign Save Our Schools.

Despite warnings from the city council to not display the banners because they were deemed ‘too political’, headteachers defied the ban.

St Luke’s Primary headteacher Jonathan Cooper said he was just doing his job standing up for his pupils by taking part.

He said: “First and foremost my job is to speak for the children.

“It is the pupils who are going to be affected by these cuts.

“My relationship with the local authority and the banner on the railings isn’t important, it’s actually the children themselves - they haven’t got a voice - so if we don’t speak out their education will suffer.”

The headteacher said his school was currently planning what savings they will have to make, and feared it could lead to support and specialist teaching staff disappearing like at other schools in the city.

The Save Our Schools banners claim cuts will see each school £193,425 worse off, on average, in the city and £487 worse of per pupil.

The figures provided by the body School Cuts, backed by the National Union of Teachers, have been worked out from the estimated reduction across all schools in the city in real terms by 2020 under current Government polices.

Alison Ali, SOS founding member and mother of twin daughters at St Luke’s, said the school funding was a key issue for whoever forms the next Government. She said: “What we are dealing with here is the future of the country. This is our children, our schools and our future.

“If we don’t sort this out we will be dealing with a lost generation of children who’s potential isn’t being tapped.”

An email from the city council earlier this week warned headteachers that displaying the banners could promote “one-sided political views” and could sway support for political parties during election time. One school leader said the headteacher of his school subsequently pulled out under this pressure.

But the Government claims school funding is at all-time high with £40 billion committed nationwide in 2016-17.