A Fife high school has confirmed it is moving to a four-and-a-half-day week in the summer following consultation with parents.
The new arrangement at Waid Academy was prompted by cuts to its staffing budget imposed by Fife Council, and will come into force when the timetable changes on June 5.
Rector Elizabeth Smart said restructuring the school week meant teaching time could be maintained.
Families were offered two options – three long days combined with two shorter ones or finishing at 1.15pm on a Friday.
She said both options had raised some concerns but the overwhelming majority of parents who voted favoured the second one.
School budgets across Fife were cut by £1.3m in 2018/19, with Waid receiving £52,600 less than the previous year.
Further reductions will be imposed this year.
Balwearie High in Kirkcaldy and Madras College in St Andrews, which have also been hit by swingeing cuts, have made similar proposals, while St Columba’s RC High in Dunfermline has already moved to a half-day Friday.
Councillor Kathleen Leslie, the Conservative group’s education spokesperson on Fife Council, said she was concerned about the cuts being imposed on head teachers.
“Parents were given two options and asked to vote for the least bad one,” she said.
“In Edinburgh, all schools have been finishing at lunchtime on a Friday for decades but here rectors are having to introduce it as part of a cost-cutting exercise and it won’t be the same for all schools.
“It’s not something they wanted to do and it’s not good.”
North East Fife SNP MP Stephen Gethins praised the management of Waid Academy for working closely with parents and pupils on the issue but criticised the ongoing national austerity policies which forced the move.
“Huge credit is due to the school, pupils and parents for taking a sensible approach and agreeing a way forward that will minimise the impact on education,” he said.
The council’s education and children’s services convener, SNP councillor Fay Sinclair, said there had never been standardisation of the school day across Fife and that schools were free to tailor their hours to meet their specific requirements.
“Any changes are made by each school following discussions with the parent council, staff and pupils,” she said.
“The savings required are the result of budget decisions phased over two years, which were not opposed by a single political group or councillor in Fife.
“We will continue to spend more than £300m each year on education in Fife, with £70m for teacher staffing.”