Coulsdon High will become the first school to adopt a regular reduced teaching week if talks with education officials fail.

As the Guardian reported in May, headteacher Colin Mackinlay told parents that drastic cuts had to be made because of this year’s severe shortfall in education funding.

To conserve cash Mr Mackinlay was forced to leave four teaching posts unfilled meaning students would have to be sent home early one afternoon a week from September.

In a bid to prevent the early closures Croydon Council have announced they will allow the three worst affected schools, Coulsdon High, St Andrews, and Coloma Convent to further increase their deficit budgets Council leader Hugh Malyan said: “We were very disappointed that Coulsdon High School told parents it would be reducing schooling next term.

“This is contrary to our determination that children’s education should not be interrupted. I have therefore instructed the director of education, Dr David Sands, to inform the three Croydon schools whose budgets are not sufficient to maintain the current curriculum, that the council will underwrite a further increase in their deficit in order to ensure that children are not sent home next term.” However, allowing schools to borrow more money may not be the most suitable or successful solution.

Mr Mackinlay said: “We are very glad to be working with the council. But we need to ensure that Coulsdon High will be receiving a grant rather then a further loan that would need to be repaid.

“It will be extremely difficult to find staff to work at the school at this time of year. With two weeks to the end of term we would need to find the staff to fill the four posts and rewrite the timetable, which I stress is not an easy task.

“I’m also glad the council has announced the names of the three most badly effected schools, and are recognising our difficulties, but we still need more money.”