A blunder which has left Norfolk schools with £5.6m less than they were expecting for the next academic year has sparked calls for the education secretary to intervene to correct the error.

Great Yarmouth MP Sir Brandon Lewis and Norfolk County Council's children's services cabinet member Penny Carpenter have written to Gillian Keegan to ask for a meeting.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Education secretary Gillian KeeganEducation secretary Gillian Keegan

The blunder - which has affected schools across the country - happened because officials at the Department for Education miscalculated the amount of money to be distributed after a shake-up at one local authority.

Union leaders warned that could have a "devastating" effect on Norfolk schools, with the potential need for staff cuts and fewer school trips.

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In July, the government announced that the national funding formula allocations - the amount of money schools are given to provide education - would be increasing by 2.7pc.

However, that figure has been revised to 1.9pc - which will see Norfolk losing out on £5.6m.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Penny CarpenterPenny Carpenter (Image: Norfolk County Council)

County councillor Mrs Carpenter had written to the Department for Education calling for the government to honour the original funding offer.

But now, she and Sir Brandon have written to Mrs Keegan asking for an urgent meeting over the issue.

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Mrs Carpenter said: “Schools, pupils and parents shouldn’t pay the price for this mistake in the Department for Education’s calculations.

"They had already been working to the figures announced in July and council staff have been supporting them to try to understand the impact of the reduced funding.

"I believe the Department for Education should honour the funding announced in July – otherwise, schools face difficult decisions around staffing levels.”

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Sir Brandon LewisSir Brandon Lewis

Sir Brandon said: “I am concerned over the impact this could have on areas of higher deprivation, such as my constituency of Great Yarmouth, where we know education can make a significant difference to young people’s prospects."

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Mike Smith-ClareMike Smith-Clare (Image: Labour Party)

But Mike Smith-Clare, education spokesman on the opposition Labour group at County Hall, said: "The government have clearly ignored the previous letter from the leader and Mrs Carpenter who said if the secretary of state didn't meet her demands for fairness she would go to London to see her. Time she did rather than waste her efforts on another hollow gesture."