A group of mums are hoping parent power will help Merton schools get access to more funding.

As part of a campaign against cuts, four parents have organised a public meeting to raise awareness of the problem.

Hina Bokhari, Jen Murray, Pamela Bentley and Anna Cave all have children aged from three to seven, who go to school in the borough.

Hina, who is also a Merton councillor for West Barnes, was a teacher for about 20 years.

She said: “As a teacher I saw what was happening to schools the last year of my teaching I asked for paperclips and they counted out how many children were in my class.

“All of us were buying our own stationary because we couldn’t manage without it.

“Then my kids started school and it was happening for them.

“My youngest son who is five has got a few special needs, but because he is not in extreme need he won’t get the support that he needs.

“There aren’t the funds and that is a real problem. It means children like him will slip and get further and further behind.”

The four women met at a ‘fair funding’ meeting which took place in June last year at Hollymount School in Raynes Park.

They decided they did not want to the campaign to lose momentum and took on the cause themselves.

Pamela said: “It really, really struck me how serious cuts are to schools. “They are turning our schools into not very nice places for our children.

“One of the things that I’ve become aware of is that some schools are having bigger class sizes and they are not replacing teachers.”

All the women said that they have been asked to contribute to the school, whether it be art supplies or their time for fundraising events.

Jen said: “I also used to be a teacher and what struck me was that now we’re being asked for more contributions but in areas where parents can’t afford to contribute it could be quite frightening.

“One of the most powerful things I saw at the meeting was that cuts at secondary school were having a biggest impact and that is what could be waiting for our children.”

Anna, who left teaching 12 years ago but has plans to go back, has been surprised at what parents are being asked to fund.

“We are being asked to pay for art resources we are told that it wasn’t being taught because it was a luxury,” she said.

The mums want teachers in Merton to know that they are not criticising the work they do.

Instead they think teachers and schools should get more money from central government.

Hina added: “What I think we’d really love is to get other parents to know that we really want to support schools and parents in Merton.

“I think teachers and heads are in a difficult position – we need them to know that we are supporting them and want to be their voice.”

To gauge opinion ahead of the public meeting surveys have been sent out to headteachers in the borough.

One result they have already seen is that schools are finding it hard to keep teachers.

“Teachers are amazing people – They do it because it is a vocation,” said Hina.

“But if your job is made difficult and everyday is a struggle and you see things are not working in the best interest of the children then you are going to be demoralised.”

The public meeting is due to take place on Tuesday, November 6 from 7.30pm at Hatfeild Primary School in Lower Morden Lane, Morden.

There will be a range of speakers including Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain Mcdonagh, Kevin Courtney the joint general secretary of the NEU, co-founder of the national Fair Funding for All Schools programme,  Matt Dykes and Sean Maher, headteacher at Richard Challoner School.

For more information or to get involved email mertonschoolfunding@gmail.com or search Merton fair funding on Twitter and Facebook.