Another Fife high school is preparing to cut the length of its days in the face of swingeing budget cuts.
Waid Academy proposes to move to either a four-and-a-half day week or three longer days, finishing at 3.35pm, and two shorter days, finishing at 3pm.
St Columba’s RC High School, in Dunfermline, has already switched to an asymmetrical week and Madras College, in St Andrews, plans to cut five minutes from the start and end of each day and have longer intervals and lunches for senior pupils.
Other schools are said to be examining tweaks to their timetables in an effort to make savings.
Waid Academy, in Anstruther, has asked parents to choose between the two options.
East Neuk and Landward councillor Linda Holt said people were very anxious about the imminent changes.
She said: “Parents are worried the second option would coincide on three days a week with the finish time at the neighbouring Anstruther Primary School, causing mayhem in parking areas and on the path from the playground to Crail Road.
“Furthermore many children at Waid would be left hanging about for 40 minutes for three days a week as there are no buses available at 3pm.
“The first option discriminates against working parents, those on low incomes and others who have difficulty finding childcare for Friday afternoons.
“Either way, reduced school budgets are already putting some head teachers in extremely difficult positions, particularly in north-east Fife, where high schools have suffered some of the council’s deepest cuts.”
A letter to parents from rector Iain Hughes gave an assurance there would be no reduction in teaching time.
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He said: “Secondary schools in Fife are currently planning to manage a reduction in our staffing budgets.
“In order to minimise impact on our curriculum and learning and teaching, we have been exploring ways of maximising the efficiency of our school timetable by looking at different options for the structure of the school week while maintaining pupils teaching time at 1650 minutes per week in 33 periods of 50 minutes.”
Fay Sinclair, convener of the council’s education and children’s services committee, said: “Schools in Fife are able to tailor the school day to meet the specific requirements of their school community.
“This consultation will also involve discussions with the parent council, staff and pupils.
“Any minor changes will not impact on the curriculum, structure or delivery of education.
“The quality of teaching and learning in our schools is fundamental to our ambitions for our young people and a fairer, stronger Fife. Our focus will continue to be on the best possible outcomes for children and young people and their future life chances.
“Any changes affecting transportation would be discussed with the bus companies and arrangements made.”