SIXTH-FORM teachers downed tools across the country yesterday to demand more funding for colleges.

Lessons at Bhasvic college in Hove were suspended yesterday as dozens of teachers went on strike outside as part of nationwide protests by the National Education Union.

Others demonstrated outside Varndean College before union members from both schools travelled to London for a national protest.

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies claims Government funding per sixth-form student has fallen by more than a fifth since 2010.

Wilhelmina Etoga Ngono, who teaches sociology at Bhasvic, said teachers and students did not receive enough support.

“I’ve been a teacher for 11 years now and students are facing much more pressure than before,” she said.

“Sixth-form is such an important time for young people, they find out who they are.

“But they also have to juggle A-Levels, part-time jobs, and their social lives.

“This isn’t a strike against Bhasvic or Varndean, it’s a demand the Government takes sixth-forms seriously.”

The Argus: Staff strike outside Varndean CollegeStaff strike outside Varndean College

Ms Ngono said pay was a factor in the protests, but teachers mainly wanted to address funding “at the root”.

“We’ve been offered a 1.5 per cent pay rise but school teachers get 2.7 per cent,” she said.

“We want fairness.

“People often say teachers get 14 weeks paid holiday but it’s never that simple.

“We’re always bringing work aback with us to do.

“It’s more of a recovery period than a holiday.”

Bhasvic physics teacher Simon Taylor said a lack of funding had hit management hard.

“Managers mainly have to deal with the strain,” he said.

“Other sixth-forms have been hit harder because we have good management.

“But we want more funding so we can help students get a quality education.”

Green Party politicians joined in on the morning’s protests.

Brighton and Hove city councillor Hannah Clare said her party stood in “full solidarity” with staff.

“We believe fairly paid staff with a good work-life balance gives students the education they deserve,” she said.

Further strikes may take place on November 5 and 20.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said the strikes “disrupt education”.