Funding cuts and shortages of staff will see a High Wycombe school cut the number of hours it is open for.

Pupils at Cressex Community School will see their lessons cut from 25 to 24 – and the school day will finish at 1.25pm on Fridays in a bid to cut costs and “reduce pressure” on staff.

In a letter to parents, head teacher David Hood – who has been vocal about the challenges facing schools and funding shortfalls – said the school is “committed” to returning to a 25-hour teaching week “as soon as the funding of schools and the supply of staff improves”.

He wrote: “At the heart of our success has been our excellent staff, both teachers and support staff. They work closely together to help our students achieve success.

“To continue to be successful, the school needs to look after and retain these teachers and support staff so they can continue to work effectively with our students.

“Unfortunately, at the present time, schools across England are suffering from a shortage of funding and a shortage of suitably qualified staff for all roles.

“Many teachers are leaving the profession as a result of feeling overburdened by their workload. It is important for us to keep our excellent staff so that students can continue to achieve well.”

He added that the governors and leadership team at the Holmer Lane school decided to shorten the teaching week to “save costs so that we can afford to keep staff, protect existing standards of provision by reducing pressure on teaching and support staff [and] ensure lessons are taught by subject specialists”.

He said: “Other schools across the country and more locally are having to make a similar decision.”

The head teacher said he expected the change to be a “positive” one but said the impact on students will be monitored and plans will be amended if necessary.

Parents and carers are being invited to an information event at the school tomorrow (May 8) from 6pm to find out more about why the decision has been made and ask any questions.

Mr Hood has previously spoken out about his concerns over a funding shortfall to schools.

In January last year, Cressex Community School and Chalfonts Community College sent the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, a bill for over £141 million to cover the shortfall in funding in the county.

The schools were part of the Worth Less? campaign, which is demanding more money go into schools to ensure that children across the country receive equal levels of funding.

The head teachers emphasised that the shortfall will have a “devastating” impact on the quality of education they can provide – and on opportunities for students from poorer backgrounds.

In May last year he also urged the government to treat all pupils equally and give them all a “fair crack of the whip” after it was announced grammar schools across the country would receive £50 million of additional funding.

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