TEACHING union branches in Swindon have said they are uniting in the fight to win more funding from central government.

Local branches of the National Education Union which represents 450,000 teachers, lecturers and support staff, are working alongside the National Association of Head Teachers to lobby government for an increase in funding for schools.

The ensuing row over funding is coming to a head this month as an indicative ballot by the NEU for strike action comes to end.

Headteachers, including from Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, marched on Downing Street in September in a mass walk-out to ask the Minister of Education Damian Hinds to properly fund education.

Sally Clarke, speaking as the National Association of Head Teachers branch secretary, said: “Our biggest outgoing is on staff and we can’t cutback any further without causing long-term harm to children’s education.

“We all need more funding, we have no option to shout about this as parents have the right to know.”

Figures from the independent House of Commons Library website show funding has gone down per pupil in real terms in areas in Swindon.

“In the constituency where my school is per pupil funding has gone down from £4,418 in 2013/14 to £4,165 in 2017/18 in real terms,” she added.

“We’d like more honesty from the government about how much they’re spending on school and young people. At the moment they are claiming funding is going up but they are actually making cuts. It’s about the real-term value of money in the current climate.”

Jon Timbrell, south west organiser at the NEU, said: "The unwillingness of the DfE to recognise the depth of the education funding crisis is resulting in redundancies, larger class sizes and the stripping away of educational provision for pupils, with the most vulnerable being disproportionately hit.

"The ballot comes as a last resort after a long period of campaigning and representations aimed at encouraging the DfE to acknowledge the depth of the crisis."

Figures used to calculate funding schools have become notoriously contentious and open to opposing interpretations from the both sides."

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said next year ring-fenced funding from central government will increase by £8m.

“The Dedicated Schools Grant for Swindon’s mainstream schools has increased, which means that there is an additional £53.41 per primary pupil and £147.93 per secondary pupil,” he said.

“The value of the per pupil increase is dependent on the school’s individual pupil demographics.”