Schools in Sussex are sitting on more than £2 million of unspent funding while teachers are resigning because they cannot manage on their salaries, figures show.

Teaching union NASUWT is calling for a fairer distribution of money after it was revealed schools in England and Wales were estimated to have more than £760 million lying in their bank accounts during the last financial year.

The union, which has more than 186,500 members, said the money could be paying for extra teachers and boosting the wages of existing staff.

Eight schools in Sussex were named in a list of 230 with unspent balances of more than £200,000 during the last financial year.

Filsham Valley School in St Leonards had the largest unspent balance in Sussex, with £341,447 at its disposal, while Beacon Community College in Crowborough boasted savings of £331,566.

Other schools on the list were Hove Park School and Sixth Form Centre (£260,999); Priory School, Lewes (£220,334); Chichester High School for Girls (£263,644); Felpham Community College, Bognor (£262,428); Uplands Community College, Uckfield (£252,192); and Heathfield Community College (£202,019).

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: "It is appalling that schools can sit on millions of pounds when some areas desperately need more money for extra teachers.

He said the problem arose because LEAs had to devolve a high percentage of their education budget to schools. Many schools were keeping reserves as an insurance policy because the LEAs no longer had spare cash.

He said the amount schools were holding back often exceeded the Audit Commission's guideline of two per cent of their total budget.