A TEACHER fears losing her job because of “savage” cuts to a school’s budget.

Vicky Hemstedt says Middle Street Primary in Brighton will need to find a way to raise £30,000 to plug the gap in funding.

She is responsible for the Every Child A Reader (Ecar) classes, which boosts the reading skills of pupils who may have fallen behind.

The lessons also help other children by making sure those who may have slipped can catch up with the level of the rest of the class in the crucial early years.

But Ms Hemstedt says cuts to education budgets mean she is at risk of losing her job if a fundraising effort fails to make enough money.

She said: “It’s a shame to know that this could role could be lost because of these savage cuts.

“It feels so wrong to me that schools have to use fundraisers to get enough money for staff.

“We are lucky that some of our parents are able to help but some others may not have that ability.

“It shouldn’t be this way.”

Her role involves working with children as young as five or six who are behind their peers when it comes to reading ability.

She fears that if the role goes it will have an effect for all pupils, not just those who take the extra reading classes.

She said: “The children make real progress and you see it in their class engagement and self-esteem.

“If the position goes it will have a knock-on effect for all the children.

“If you have children struggling it means teachers may not have time to get them to the right level.

“I mostly work with Year 1 children.

“The first I taught left last summer and it was great to see children I had worked with leave having passed their Sats for reading. It shows the impact of getting to them early.”

To maintain the role of an Ecar teacher at Middle Street, the school needs to raise £30,000.

This would covers Ms Hemstedt’s salary plus the costs for books or learning materials needed to help improve the quality of learning for pupils.

Headteacher Julie Aldous is backing her and said the school did not want to lose the role.

She said: “Reading is fundamental, it’s really important and Vicky has a high success rate. It’s very intensive. The children see her every day and it gives them that ability and confidence to read.

“We’ve had children go on from the lessons and really have a love of books.

“For me it’s a no brainer – why would you not want to have that in your school?”

The school is now looking at ways to raise the money needed to keep Ms Hemstedt.

The wider Brighton community is also coming together to help.

Art gallery Artrepublic, in Bond Street, has announced it will be hosting a special exhibition to raise money for Middle Street.

The event will take place across March 8, 9 and 10 with 25 per cent of all takings going towards the £30,000 target.

Lawrence Alkin, owner of Artrepublic, has a special link to the Ecar role as Ms Hemstedt helped his daughter Miriam with her reading, and she now loves it.

He said: “I’m far more interested in helping the school, that’s my passion, not how much money my business gets.

“We’re trying to work out a system to get the parents of the school to start putting their hands in their pockets to help out the school.”

The school says a crowdfunding website will be set up to help the cause.

It hopes other parents at the school can chip in to support the fundraising.