A school which proposed bringing the summer holidays forward to June so lessons can re-start in August was forced into u-turn after a furious reaction by parents.

The Downley School, High Wycombe, sent a video message to parents announcing it had ruled out sending pupils back on June 1.

Instead, a montage of teachers on camera announced the upcoming half term was cancelled - and that the summer holiday would be brought forward to June and July.

All year groups were set to make a 'phased return' - but not until August.

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But parents complained to the school - and yesterday (May 27) parents received a letter explaining the plans were now scrapped.

It means pupils may have unnecessarily completed schoolwork during Tuesday and Wednesday of this week's half term break.

Head teacher Fiona Taylor wrote: "We need to share with you that we are not moving the school holidays as previously stated. So please do not change move or further disrupt your families.

"Our intention was never to cause this issue but to provide you with greater flexibility in our transition back to school."

She added: "Trying to navigate through this difficult time is hard for us all.

"Whilst I fully appreciate how cross you must be please understand that we may not have made the right decision but it was made for the right reasons, you and your children."

Parents and carers were first told to keep their kids learning through this week's break via a video montage of teachers explaining the move, sent Friday evening at 7.25pm.

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Teachers said it would allow them to closely monitor the R rate, monitor scientific evidence and learn from 'new findings and other educational settings.'

A follow-up letter sent Saturday morning said the school would have a long autumn term and promised that families who booked holiday will not be fined for missing class.

But parents slammed the 'bizarre' messaging and condemned the school for not consulting them or giving time to respond to the announcement with questions.

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were 'confused' after watching the 'bizarre' clip.

They said: "I couldn't quite comprehend it - there was about 15 people saying a few sentences of the communication.

"I had to watch it five times to ascertain what it actually meant and I hadn't misunderstood. I wrote the words down so I had a bit of a script to understand."

They criticised that there was no consultation or survey for parents' thoughts and that they could not contact the school because it was sent so late before the bank holiday weekend.

"It's a very bizarre situation," they said. "There's no clarity. There doesn't seem to be any further information for parents.

"There's no clarity on how that would transition back. I was so mad - I thought I must have missed something.

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"For parents who work it's hard to communicate with their workplace and they have 12 weeks of childcare to consider.

"I'm sure my whole community here is in uproar and confusion. It felt like so much is out of our control, especially with our children."

Another parent said he had a "very upset little man" after hearing the news in the video, adding: "The kids have been working hard with no help from the school for the past eight weeks and now his half term is cancelled and he can’t have a school holiday at the same time as the other three children in our household.

"We had holiday plans for August when The Downley School plans to be back at school. We will not be honouring the school's dates."

Earlier this month Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman said primary schools should reopen 'as soon as possible.'

Former Ofsted Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw this week cautioned it may be necessary to axe summer holidays for year groups set to take exams.

Teachers in the video added: "It's unfortunate that due to time constraints we haven't been able to consult with you.

"We thank you for your understanding. We thank you for your flexibility.

"This decision hasn't been taken lightly but we feel it is in the best interest of all children, parents, carers and staff.

"It also means children will have greater provision for continuous education through the next academic year..

The head teacher ended the video and said: "I have never been prouder to be part of the Downley community nor have I ever had to make such difficult decisions, however we all believe this is the right one for our school."

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Buckinghamshire Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Anita Cranmer said: "In exploring ways to maximise pupils' return within government guidelines, The Downley School had made an error in communicating a potential change in term dates to parents.

"The school has corrected this error and has apologised to their parents for the confusion.

"The usual term dates will be in place for the school along with all Buckinghamshire's schools; therefore half-term is taking place this week.

"The school has already informed parents of this and will write to parents again later this week with more detail on a proposed phased return for additional pupil year groups, in line with government guidance.

"Buckinghamshire Council is working closely with the school on this."