CRUCIAL school funding should not be forgotten as the Government presses ahead with Brexit, campaigners have urged.

The plea comes after Prime Minister Theresa May stunned the country by calling a snap general election.

Campaigners fear that the increasing focus on Brexit will mean issues such as school funding are pushed on the backburner. It comes as the Echo continues to campaign for a re-think of the controversial National Funding Formula, which will leave all schools in Southend will a smaller budget.

The National Union of Teachers has joined schools and parents calling for school funding to be made a priority when MPs and prospective candidates are out campaigning.

Jerry Glazier, secretary for the Essex branch of the union, said: “The election has been called for the Prime Minister to clarify her position regarding Brexit, however the domestic issue of education funding remains a serious and important issue.

“We are non-party political, so we are urging all parties to take this seriously come campaign time. The union will be campaigning hard to ensure that teachers’ and school’s resources are not reduced.”

Clare Gregory, a mother-of-two, from Wickford, spoke of her frustration as schools are under increasing pressure.

She said: “Parents are now being asked to fork out to help schools meet the funding gap. What happens if parents can’t pay?”

Desi McKeown, 43, headteacher of the Deanes School, in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, hit out at the Government for failing to tackle a widening budget deficit for schools.

Mr McKeown revealed that schools are facing debt as they struggle with costs that no longer receive central funding. He added that in Essex 92 per cent of secondary schools are currently rated good or better by Ofsted.

Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for Castle Point, told the Echo she has twice met with education secretary Justine Greening and feels confident Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond will do all they can to ease pressure on schools in the future.

She said: “I think the government is taking it very seriously. There are not cuts to funding, it’s more about the costs going up. The fact is that the government has ring fenced in the last seven years and I have every sympathy with the schools under pressure to match the rising costs.

“In my sense it is one of the Government’s priorities.”