A FRUSTRATED head teacher has voiced fears for the future of education as budget cuts continue to take their toll on schools.

Ferndown Upper head Philip Jones said staff are working up to 80 hours a week to ensure children are educated properly.

But he said more money must be injected into schools before standards drop.

Mr Jones was one of 1,000 heads who marched on Downing Street last week in a last-ditch attempt to secure more funding from the government.

He spoke out as figures reveal spending per pupil across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset has plummeted in real terms in the last four years.

Analysis of Department for Education figures revealed that £240 less will be spent on each Bournemouth pupil this academic year compared with 2014-15, a drop of six per cent.

In Poole the figure is £107 less and in the Dorset County Council area it is £147 less, both representing a three per cent drop.

Mr Jones, who has been head at Ferndown Upper for four years, told the Daily Echo he has been forced to cut teaching staff, reduce subject choices and create bigger classes since his appointment.

The number of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and other support staff has also been reduced and the Senior Leadership Team has been cut.

"I don't know how I can continue to make cuts" he said. "I am already relying on the goodwill of people who are putting in 70-80 hours a week to get things done."

Mr Jones said he has been forced to appoint counsellors due to cuts to services for pupils with special needs or mental health needs.

The Department for Education says there is more money going into schools than ever before but Mr Jones stressed the spend per pupil is lower.

The National Education Union said that the DfE's claim is "disingenuous", "misleading to parents" and "insulting to schools".

NEU's joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "It ignores the impact of inflation and the increase in student numbers. Schools are on their knees.

"They need significant investment to reverse the cuts of the last three years, address historic underfunding of some areas and tackle the crisis in school funding for pupils with special needs."