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Beacon school in Banstead, Surrey

Parents at the Beacon school in Banstead, Surrey, have agreed to help bail the school out of its funding crisis.

But despite 400 families pledging pound;10 a month for the next year, the state secondary could still have to cut one lesson a week and slash teaching posts.

Headteacher John Darker wrote to parents earlier this month asking for help to reduce a pound;300,000 deficit.

Even so, the school will not be replacing nine staff who are leaving, which could result in larger class sizes and a restricted range of courses at GCSE, AS and A-level.

Mr Darker is also having to cut the number of design and technology, music and drama lessons for 11 to 14-year-olds to make ends meet.

He said: "In my 17 years as a headteacher I have not experienced such a desperate situation which has been so directly caused by government failure."

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