THE Echo has launched an online petition as it pushes on with its campaign urging the Government to ditch plans to cut school funding.

The proposed new National Funding Formula will see hundreds of school in south Essex lose out.

Southend is one of four areas in the country - and the only one outside London - that will see every one of its schools hit.

Following the launch of an Echo campaign yesterday, we are urging our readers to sign a petition against the proposals - which could see school budgets cut by 3 per cent.

The cuts could see teaching jobs go, reduced subjects taught and extra curricular activities shelved.

James Courtenay, Southend councillor responsible for children and learning, has backed the petition.

He said: “I think its important that the message gets to the Government about how many people are opposed to the proposals, particularly for Southend schools and the impact they will have.

“This is going to impact on all parents, even those with children who are not yet at school. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles should sign the petition to send a clear message to the Government so hopefully they will look again and find a way to ensure school funding is fair but doesn’t have such a big impact on Southend schools.”

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers yesterday said schools were facing hardship.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the association, said: “Schools are facing significant real-terms cuts in per-pupil funding and will need to find £3 billion in savings annually by 2020.

“It is indisputable that education ministers need to go back to the Chancellor and secure more funding for our schools.”

To show your support for our petition, visit