A SENIOR councillor has expressed his 'concerns' after a school announced it will finish 90 minutes earlier on Fridays.

Charters School in Ascot sent a letter to parents on February 13 which said the day will end at 1.30pm instead of 3pm.

Richard Pilgrim, head teacher at Charters, explained the rise in pension costs and reduction in funding has resulted in the changes which will take place in September 2019.

He said: "As many of you will be aware, schools across the country including Charters, have since 2010, found themselves under significant financial pressure due to a combination of reduced per pupil funding and rising costs.

"We recognise that changes of this sort can raise concerns.

"Please be assured that our objective is to be able to continue to provide excellent educational opportunities."

A homework club will run until 3pm for younger year school students.

Simon Dudley, leader of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said children services officials will meet with the school to 'better understand the challenges'.

He added: “It is very concerning. They are an academy and did not consult it with the council, which is their prerogative.”

“Nationally there is an issue with the contribution rate. It has to be a very big consideration for the school.

“I am quite keen to understand what is going on with the Sixth Form and the school’s finances.

"We want to be as supportive as possible and to lobby with the MP if possible.
“Charters is an outstanding school and we want to allow it to continue to provide high-quality education.

“Whether reducing opening hours will feed into academic results is hard to say. If you spend less time on teaching children that is clearly not a good thing in my view.

“The teacher pension issue is a very significant consideration. 

“I have asked our children’s services to meet with the school to understand their finances. We need to get all of the facts.”