SCHOOLS in Brighton and Hove have invoiced the Government for more than £48 million as part of a campaign demanding fairer funding.

The Worth Less? campaign, which is fighting for fair and adequate school funding, sent the bill to the Treasury for the money it says it should be getting to run schools.

Campaigners say that under the new National Funding Formula – set for introduction in April – Brighton and Hove primary and secondary schools will be

£48,133,230 worse off compared with average pupil funding for the same number of students at schools in Westminster, London.

The invoice, calculated using Department for Education figures (DfE), comes after a passionate campaign by schools and a visit to 11 Downing Street in November last year to discuss fairer funding.

A letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond signed by headteachers including Richard Bradford, chairman of the Secondary School Partnership and Dorothy Stringer head, said there was a chronic lack of funding to support reasonable teacher/pupil ratios, excellent curricular provision and adequate help for the most vulnerable pupils.

It read: “We have never sought to see other better-funded schools in London to lose out. But we are not prepared to accept second best for our schools.

“Under the new funding formula many of our schools will continue to receive at least 50 per cent less money than an identically sized school in London. At times, this rises to a staggering 70 per cent.

“Our schools need to be given the same ‘tools’ to deliver as other better-funded parts of the country.

“Our children all sit the same examinations and our schools are judged by the same Ofsted criteria.

“Different schools in different social contexts should, of course, be funded differently.

“They should not, however, be compromised and disadvantaged by such vast and persistent financial disparities.”

Nationally the group claims the disparity in pupil funding between some schools and Westminster schools amounts to £3.5 billion.

Last week top academy schools sounded the alarm over school funding.

More than half of major operators of the academies raised warnings over pressure on pay, staffing levels, building maintenance and mounting deficits.

The DfE called the figures misleading.

A DfE spokeswoman said: "The campaign’s calculations are thoroughly misleading, and ignore the fact that under our national funding formula, funding is based on the needs and characteristics of each individual school.

"We are investing an additional £1.3 billion in school funding, over and above existing plans, with core schools funding rising from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion in 2019-20.

"There are no cuts in funding. Every school will see an increase in funding through the formula from this year, and in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil, and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil.

"Schools in Brighton and Hove will see a 1.7 per cent increase in funding – £2.2m – under the national funding formula."