AN “OUTSTANDING” school is asking parents for help buying essentials such as rubbers, pencils and Pritt Sticks amid “serious financial cuts”.

The headteacher of Eastbook Primary Academy in Southwick, which was given the highest possible rating by Ofsted, has written to parents pleading for monetary donations.

The school has also set up an “Amazon wishlist” so parents can pay for essentials such as colouring pencils and handwriting pens directly.

Parents told The Argus the academy was “amazing” and “every parent is happy to give it what it needs”.

In a school letter home, seen by The Argus, headteacher Julia Sherlock said: “When I started teaching a while ago now, I never thought I would need to write letters like this one. I remain genuinely sorry that we have got to this stage.”

The school is run by the Reach2 Academy Trust – the largest primary academy chain in the country.

A union boss lambasted its chief executive, Steve Lancashire, who took home a £235,000 annual wage from the trust in 2018.

The request for help comes amid a “funding crisis” in schools nationally. West Sussex schools, such as Eastbrook, are bearing the brunt of the crisis due to a funding formula whereby they are paid 70 to 50 per cent of the “per pupil funding” compared to some other schools in the country.

Mrs Sherlock’s letter home to parents said: “If you can make a donation, of any size, it would be really appreciated. The suggestion last year was for approximately £5 a term or £15 for the year, but this is only a suggestion.

“An example of the type of basic classroom resources we purchase are handwriting pens, class sets of pencils, exercise books, whiteboard pens and erasers, glue sticks and paper used for photocopying, writing and sketching as well as white tack and display board resources.”

Parents can also donate by paying for products from shopping giant Amazon.

The school has created a wish list of things it would like parents to buy on the website.

Included within the requests are Pritt Sticks, erasers, Play-Doh, colouring pencils, White Tack, handwriting pens and a number of books.

A parent from the school, who asked not to be named, said: “The school is just amazing.

“No kids have ever missed out and no kid will ever miss out.

“Whether they are looking for help buying certain things, the fact is that there is no difference to the education there.

“Every parent is happy to give it what it needs.”

Ward councillor David Balfe called the situation “shocking” and “outrageous”.

The Labour representative said: “This is symptomatic of the continuation of austerity across a range of social services. It is so, so depressing at it going on at every level.”

Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton declined to comment on the story.

A spokesperson for REAch2 said: “It’s been well documented that the funding environment continues to be very challenging for schools across the country.

"As the largest primary academy trust in the country, our scale means that in addition to the specialist education support we provide, we are able to help schools reduce their costs through our purchasing power on areas such as energy, ICT and staff training.

"In today’s environment, it is even more challenging for stand-alone schools than those that belong to a family of schools, and we are committed to ensuring that our schools benefit fully from our support.”