A FORMER mayor says it is a “great shame” that a school in his ward has slashed its teaching hours amid funding cuts and staff shortages.

Cllr Brian Pearce, who represents Booker and Cressex at Wycombe District Council, has lamented the decision by Cressex Community School to cut their lessons from 25 to 24, with the school day finishing at 1.25pm on Fridays.

Head teacher David Hood 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”.

Cllr Pearce said it was a “great shame” the school has had to make the move amid .

He said: “It’s unbelievable - it’s a lovely school and they have very high standards.

“And what will families of the pupils do? What will the students do when their parents are at work?

“It’s a great shame that they have had to do this because of funding cuts. In my mind, cutting school hours is just as bad as cutting police numbers.”

Dozens of former school workers and teachers defended the school’s move, saying teachers are under huge strain.

Reader Jeremy Onslow said: “Having worked in a school for many years, not as a teacher I saw first hand the ever increasing strain, pressure and workload.

“Public funding under ever increasing threat, red tape, procedures, legislation all adding up to the point it felt like teaching staff had one hand tied behind their back.

“Sure, this is not good at all for students’ education or parents either and my concern is that this may become more common.

“This is not good, sends a message that is a concern but none of this is the fault of teachers. This might be a wake-up call.”