Parents have criticised a school which plans to cut the number of teaching hours some of its students get each week.

Staff shortages mean King's Manor Community College in Kingston Lane, Shoreham, has had to cut the number of lessons in some of its A-level subjects.

It means there will be four hours of teaching rather than five in those subjects where the number of pupils in the class is small, such as Biology, German and Sociology.

In a letter to parents, head teacher David McLean said: "We have taken the decision to reduce by one period the amount of teacher input in a small number of subjects.

"Due to staffing changes effective from January, we have had to review the staffing we can make in respect of each year group in order that we can cover all classes effectively."

The fifth lesson will still be available for students to work together and continue on work that has been set and needs to be completed.

Mr McClean said: "While this is not an ideal situation, it is also true to say that Year 13 students are expected to become independent learners able to manage time and work unsupervised so this situation should not adversely affect their studies.

"There is a serious recruitment and retention issue in the teaching profession and this decision has not been taken lightly.

"However, given the small sizes of the groups affected, we are also certain the amount of student-teacher contact time will remain in excess of that offered by other institutions, where the group size is often in excess of 20 students per subject."

One parent, whose daughter is studying for four A-levels, is furious, He said: "I disagree the reduction in time will not adversely affect her studies.

"She feels she is being deprived of the full opportunities extended to other students at other sixth form colleges and at King's Manor.

"It must have been known for some time that there would be teacher vacancies. Recruitment and retention should no longer be an issue."