Charters School Ascot ends day early on Fridays to save money

A school is to end lessons 90 minutes early on Fridays in a bid to combat “significant financial pressure”.

In a letter to parents, Charters School in Ascot, Berkshire, said the day will end at 13:30 instead of 15:00.

Head teacher Richard Pilgrim said a reduction in funding and rising pension costs had resulted in the change, which will take effect in September.

The council said it would “urgently” meet with the academy secondary school to see how it could help.

Mr Pilgrim wrote that he recognised “changes of this sort can raise concerns” but the school would aim to retain current educational standards.

He said: “Schools across the country, including Charters, have since 2010, found themselves under significant financial pressure‚Ķ due to the money we receive per pupil reducing and pension costs rising.”

A homework club is being planned for Fridays which would run until 15:00, with spaces prioritised for younger pupils.

Simon Dudley, the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said as the school is an academy the decision was made independently from the local authority.

“It was a pretty surprising and concerning letter to receive,” the Conservative councillor said.

He added council officials would be meeting the school‘s leadership “urgently” so they can determine how to help “from a lobbying perspective with central government”.