HEAD teachers across Dorset are marching on Downing Street today as school resources are claimed to be at “breaking point”.

Kate Carter, CEO of The Educational Alliance of Canford Heath (TEACH), said the current school funding situation was “heartbreaking” and limiting the education children received.

TEACH trustees have supported the action by the schools’ heads and it has been explained to parents.

Mrs Carter, who is joining the Worth Less? protest in London today, told the Daily Echo schools had no more room to cut and that the Government is not telling the full story.

She said something has to be done to address the “desperate” situation.

“It has got to the point where there is nothing else to cut,” Mrs Carter said.

“Head teachers are at the end of their tether.

“The Government is saying they have put more money in then ever before and we are ranked third for spending in the OECDs (international education tables). They have put more money in, but at the same time they are taking more out and costs have increased.”

Mrs Carter says the OECD ranking claim dates back to 2015, while the funding figures include post 16 and university funding, which skews the picture.

More than a thousand headteachers are expected to take part in today’s march.

Mrs Carter will be joined by head teachers from across several Poole school trusts including Rosaleen Beaver, Canford Heath Infant and Junior, Lucy Waterhouse, Ad Astra Infant and Haymoor Junior, Alison Carter, Courthill Primary School, Kate Curtis, Talbot Primary School, and Helen Roderick, Hillbourne Primary School.

The funding crisis has forced trusts to cut back on school trips, slash budgets for the school library and lose teaching assistants.

An afterschool homework club at Canford Heath, which was set up as a free service with teacher supervision, has had to charge.

“The situation is more than disheartening, it is heartbreaking,” Mrs Carter added.

“We know what children need to be safe, happy and to get the best education. We need more resources to be able to put that in place.

“Schools are expected to provide mental health support, well-being, tackle obesity. There is a lot imposed on schools and the support to deliver it just isn’t there.

“The expectations are high, we don’t have a problem with that, we are professional, but there has to be a limit.

“It is clearly at breaking point. In my trust we have had to cut and cut.

“We have to ensure we have teachers, keep children safe and run the building.”

Mrs Carter said she has spoken to other trust leaders across Poole, who are facing similar problems. She even admitted that in the last 18 months she has not met a head teacher who has said their budget is “looking healthy”.

Since becoming a head teacher Mrs Carter said the situation is “unrecognisable”.

Mrs Carter said: “School funding has never been massive, but when I first became head teacher every teacher had an assistant. It is completely different now.

“One part of my role is managing school finance, I have no problem with that, but I’m a headteacher not a magician. I can’t magic money for budgets if it isn’t there in the first place. The action is calling for them (the Government) to better fund special education needs and it’s for them to be a bit more honest about the problems. The situation can’t go on.”

She said the National Funding Formula was unfair and left areas, including Poole, worse off, drawing comparisons with a "post code lottery".

The Daily Echo has also been told head teachers from Ferndown Upper, Thomas Hardye, Swanage and Burgate schools will be joining the protest in London.

A Department for Education spokesperson said more money was going into schools than ever before, with a record £43.5 billion by 2020 - which is claimed to be 50 per cent more in real terms per pupil than in 2000.

“Every school attracts more funding per pupil through the National Funding Formula, high needs funding has risen to over £6 billion this year and the 3.5% pay rise we announced for classroom teachers on the main pay range is backed by £508 million government funding," the spokesperson said.

“We know that we are asking schools to do more, which is why we are helping them to reduce the £10 billion spent each year on non-staffing costs, providing government-backed deals for things like printers and energy suppliers that are helping to save millions of pounds.”