"WE have been forgotten."

Those are the words of a Southampton head teacher who is launching a campaign to turn a "concrete jungle" into a haven for his pupils.

Michael Lobo, head teacher at St Patrick's Primary School says some children at his school have never been to a park - and have no access to green space. And the 420 pupils at the Fort Road site have no playing field - so they can't have a sports day or take part in tournaments against other schools.

He says the "nightmare" playground is so dangerous he has documented a "catalogue of accidents" where children have fallen over exposed tree roots and uneven bricks.

And walls around the school are so low "anyone could jump over" - while passers-by throw rubbish in.

Now Mr Lobo is launching a campaign to raise £100,000 to transform the site into a child-friendly space and buy a minibus to take the children to green space.

He is asking for the community and local businesses to help transform the school's outside space with resurfacing the playground, building storage and "inspiring" resources for reception children, and a 'forest school' corner .

He says better facilities for the children would be a "fitting tribute" to the loss of two senior members of staff - which has left the school "absolutely bereft".

Former head teacher Elizabeth Kenny died in September 2016 - after living with breast cancer for seven years and insisting on working until the last year of her life.

Shortly after her death former deputy head Katharine Hill passed away in February this year, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer towards the end of 2017.

Now Mr Lobo hopes school improvements will give the school a new lease of life.

He said: "Some of these kids have never been to a park.

"You wouldn't know but I realised when I took them on a residential trip. They had never seen green space.

"They live in high rises and their parents think it's dangerous or don't have time to take them."

And children have hopes of bringing nature into their school with a chicken run or space to grow vegetables.

The school is voluntary aided and run by governors and the Diocese of Portsmouth.

Director of education for the diocese Catherine Hobbs said higher fencing around the school is due to be installed, but that it won't leave any cash for the playground.

She said: "St Patrick's are getting a share of funding this year. We don't have access to additional funds for the playground.

"The share that is given to them is to ensure we meet health and safety requirements which then doesn't leave money for what is also essential but isn't a health and safety issue directly.

"The school has had hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on it - with at least three new classrooms.

"The focus has had to be on providing the additional classrooms and fixing health and safety issues."

Vice chair of the board of governors Louise Payne said the school has expanded from 1.5 to two form entry - and the expansion has meant there is less space for children to play.

She said: "We are a growing school and many of the children live in a very built-up area."