Labour and the Liberal Democrats have outlined plans to counter cuts to school funding as general election campaigning builds.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described a “classroom crisis in the capital” as Labour made manifesto pledges to scrap the Tories’ planned education cuts and introduce a fair funding formula to counter teacher shortage, with figures to back up their ideas.

But Conservative Leader of Barnet Council Cllr Richard Cornelius disputed the figures and spoke of the importance of more school places for pupils.

ONS figures supplied by Labour show the number of unfilled teaching posts in Barnet has increased by 66 per cent since 2011.

Jeremy Newmark, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green, said: “These new figures show just how badly the Conservative-caused classroom crisis has escalated here in Barnet.

“Schools play a vital role in building a society run for the many, not the few, and we cannot afford to continue underinvesting in the next generations.”

But Cllr Richard Cornelius said there are only five full-time vacancies in Barnet, naming the situation “hardly a crisis.”

He said: “Both I and Mike Freer, as Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, have met with the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Schools to discuss school funding.

“On each occasion we have expressed our support for a fairer national funding system but made it clear this must not come at the expense of schools in Barnet or London more widely.”

Labour also highlighted the number of teachers in training in London this year reduced by 38 per cent between April 2015 and April 2017.

Mr Khan said: “Parents will be alarmed at the extent of the teacher shortage being created under the Conservatives – and this is only set to get worse under five more years of a Tory government with a perfect storm of falling teacher recruitment and rising demand.”

The Liberal Democrats also chimed into the debate with their plans to invest more than £46 million more funds into Barnet schools and colleges over the next parliament.

Alasdair Hill, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hendon and director of studies at a north London Secondary School said: "Children in Barnet are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers - but Theresa May doesn't care.

“I witness this daily and whilst all the people I work with are doing an amazing job, morale is low as we struggle to provide enough time and resources to our oversized classes.

"This extra £46,000,000 of funding would ensure no school and no child loses out.”