SECONDARY schools in West Oxfordshire will join forces to ensure the best outcomes for young people as they face a ‘budget crisis’.

Seven schools in the district have been working on their approach to anticipated cuts to funding, amid union claims secondary schools in West Oxfordshire stand to lose nearly £2.5m a year.

The projections, which suggest secondary schools in the district could lose 64 teachers by 2019, were worked out by unions using the Department for Education's proposed new funding formula and other information on financial pressures.

According to the estimations, West Oxfordshire secondary schools are set to lose £2,468,901 a year by 2019, averaging a loss of £494 per student.

Wood Green School in Witney could lose £432,559 while The Henry Box School, also in the town, could lose £420,140.

Stephen Pritchard, headteacher at Henry Box School, said heads at the seven secondary schools in the district were coming together to work out how best to weather the storm of cuts.

He said: “The cuts are definitely something to be concerned about for all schools. I’ve been meeting with other heads in West Oxfordshire and school funding is something that’s been on the agenda for some time.

“There is what is widely accepted as a funding crisis and all schools are affected. In West Oxfordshire secondary schools are working together to look at ways of achieving efficiencies.

“This is something we are absolutely determined to work together on because we’re all in it for the same reason: getting the best outcomes for young people.

“All schools are making this stand and we’re encouraging parents to involve themselves. We want parents to know we’re all working together.”

Mr Pritchard said he was confident Henry Box would be fine because the school had started the process of achieving a more efficient operating model years ago.

He has joined the heads from Wood Green, Burford, Chipping Norton, Bartholomew and Marlborough schools, and Carterton Community College, to work on a joined up approach to the issue.

A letter will be issued to parents explaining the situation. It will also encourage any interested parents to get involved in working towards solutions to the issue.

Conservative parliamentary candidate for Witney Robert Courts said of the Government’s funding formula: “On the release of the latest proposals I immediately wrote to all headteachers in the constituency asking for their feedback and suggestions, and have visited many schools to discuss this very issue further.

“I met with the Minister for Schools to raise my concerns, emphasising the needs of West Oxfordshire. I have lobbied the Government to create an essential funding level, to ensure that schools receive the funding they need, regardless of their size and location.”

Before the General Election the Government had proposed a new funding formula in an attempt to ensure all schools across the country got similar amounts of money.

But critics said it could actually make schools worse off.

Liberal Democrat candidate Liz Leffman said:“I applaud schools for getting together to see how this can be resolved, but the fact is that the cuts in West Oxfordshire equate to hundreds of pounds per student, and it is hard to see how we can avoid losing teaching staff."

"A government that values education would not sanction cuts on this scale, and the Liberal Democrats would restore budgets to the current level.”

The other parliamentary candidates did not respond to a request for comment before publication.