CHANGES in school funding will be called in for review tomorrow amid warnings that infant schools in Sefton could be hit by "stealth closures".
It is understood at least five schools have been spurred into petitioning the council against moves that could see them pushed towards closure by market forces.
The Daily Post revealed last Tuesday that the new "fair funding formula" will see all primary schools receive the same amount of funding per pupil.
Lib Dem councillors Richard Hands, Jack Colbert and Cynthia Johnson are fighting against the programme, saying it could cause cuts of at least £30,000 to the budgets of some infant-only schools.
Cllr Colbert said: "Under this new formula, the schools that were saved originally will be open to market forces because of the reduction of around £30,000 in their budgets. I believe this is closure by stealth. This is a way of getting a second phase of closures under way and avoiding embarrassment for the education department by having a public phase two programme.
"I think it's disgraceful that four schools could close under the so-called 'fair funding' programme. In my opinion, it's unfair funding."
The measures would mean junior schools will receive more money per pupil than they receive now, while infant schools could see a significant reduction in funding.
Councillors have said the cuts would have a major effect on reception classes, where two members of staff, a teacher and a classroom assistant, are usually required.
In some schools, reception classes bring in around £2,500 per pupil, while in higher classes the figure is £2,000. With the new measures, all seven years would get about £2,100. Cllr Hands said: "There is no educational proof that they needed to even out the funding in that way.
"The argument that most educationalists would put forward is that you need more qualified help in the earlier part of a child's education, but that is where funds are to be reduced."
The council has also changed the criteria for its "small schools factor", which grants a lump sum of £15,000 to certain schools.
The council said the changes had been made to benefit the majority of schools by installing a more equal distribution of funding.