TEACHERS, parents and pupils staged two major protests against Government funding cuts to schools yesterday.

Forty two schools from around Brighton and Hove united as part of the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign at The Level in Brighton and at Victoria Park, Portslade.

The parent-led group claim that Government cuts will hit schools in the city to the tune of £14 million.

They say it equates to £193,425 per school and £487 per pupil by 2020, if the Conservatives stay in power.

Nupur Verma, one of the organisers of SOS, said: “It is a really relevant issue that needs addressing.

“Staff numbers are decreasing and so is funding, which doesn’t add up.

“It is putting serious pressure on teachers and makes it harder for our children to get the most out of their education.”

The protesters were joined by politicians, including Brighton Pavilion incumbent Caroline Lucas and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour candidate for Brighton Kemptown.

Kemptown’s Conservative candidate Simon Kirby declined an invitation.

Ms Lucas was the first to speak at The Level, beginning by condemning the Conservative Party’s cuts.

She said: “The Conservatives’ manifesto is not worth the paper it is written on.

“I am pledging all my support to the Save Our Schools campaign.”

Caroline Bradinge, whose son Laurie is in his last year at Balfour Primary School in Brighton, said she was concerned about the cuts to special needs teaching.

She said: “Each class has on average two children that require special care per class.

“With more pressure being put on the teaching staff, these children may not get the attention they need which would be devastating.”

Tim Duncerley, a teacher at Downs View special needs school in Woodingdean, echoed Ms Bradinge’s views.

He said: “It is a horrible attack on children with disabilities.

“The Government has no compassion for them or respect for any of the staff that help them.”

There was entertainment between speakers at The Level including a singer impersonating David Bowie and then Sting.

Among his renditions, he sang Police’s Message in a Bottle with the help of the children.

Some of the lyrics were altered in accordance with the message SOS is sending to the Government.

They sang: “I hope the Government gets our message in a bottle.”

Mark Erickson, whose daughter Mili goes to Middle Street Primary, said: “It is symbolic of what this Government think about the younger generations.

“They are damaging our children’s futures and that is a terrible thing to do.”

Mili plays the trombone and piano and Mark said: “They are making cuts to the arts department at Middle Street, which will undoubtedly affect Mili.

“Once they start cutting, they will just keep going.”

Ten-year-old Mili spoke highly of her school.

She said: “This school has literally done everything for me.

“I can’t even describe how much they have helped me.

“They are always there for me and my friends when we need them.”

Everyone at the event wrote a message for the Department of Education, which will be sent to the Education Minister after the General Election on June 8.

SOS supporters also gathered at Victoria Park in Portslade, with around 400 people protesting the cuts.

There were 11 schools involved and guest speakers included Hove incumbent Peter Kyle, Liberal Democrat candidate Carrie Hynds and union representatives.

The Green Party candidate for Hove Phelim MacCafferty also attended and gave a speech

Kristy Adams, the Conservative candidate for Hove, was invited but did not turn up.

Message in a Bottle was also sung by the hundreds in Portslade, mirroring the protest held in The Level.

The event was organised by Siobhan Warrington and Viv Mudie.

Ms Warrington, 44, said: “It was a brilliant event and very important.

“We needed to get together today and to show our feelings and we did.”

Ms Mudi, 40, said: “Mainly, we needed to get the parents engaged.

“That is what is going to make a difference and I feel we did that today.”

Previously SOS made banners indicating the impact of the cuts and put them up at dozens of schools around the city.

Headteachers defied Brighton and Hove City Council orders not to display the “political” banners.