Pupil attainment is being affected by the “massive financial hardship” faced by a Kirkcaldy school say worried parents.
Balwearie High School was rated “satisfactory” in three categories including raising attainment and “weak” in ensuring wellbeing and inclusion after Education Scotland inspectors visited the school last autumn.
But head teacher Neil McNeil is now faced with the prospect of cutting subjects and guidance teachers as the school aims to make savings of up to £346,741 over two years.
Schools across Fife are under financial pressure, having been told to cut six-figure sums from their budgets.
Parents, who were said to be supportive of Mr McNeil while he makes “difficult decisions”, are being consulted on a raft of measures to meet the savings target with cuts likely to be implemented in August next year.
One parent said: “My concern, as a parent with two children attending Balwearie, is why a secondary school that is in the process of addressing shortcomings identified by Education Scotland should now be forced to find savings of £265,167, with the figure of £346,741 being quoted for the following year.
“I am distressed and angered that our school is facing this additional massive financial hardship when it should be concentrating on improving the educational experience and wellbeing of its young people.”
Practical classes which are expensive to provide including physical education, drama, music, business management, accounting and computing are at risk as a result of budget constraints.
Another option involves making class sizes for non-practical subjects larger, with up to 33 pupils in a class.
In a letter to parents, Mr McNeil said: “These savings cannot be made without significant changes to the way we work and consequently there must be a focus on our management structure as well as the structure of our curriculum.”
Fife Council’s head of education and children’s services, Shelagh McLean, said like all local authorities across Scotland Fife faced “a continuing and deepening financial challenge”.
She said: “Budget is distributed fairly, across all of our schools, supporting our vision of improving everyone’s life chances.
“We are supporting and encouraging staff at Balwearie high school, as well as all of our other schools, to focus on improvement in outcomes for our young people.
“Following the recent inspection in Balwearie, significant additional resources have been provided to help the head teacher make progress.
“These additional resources cannot be built into the school’s ongoing budget but have been made available as a support measure in the short term.”