Falmouth Marine School's decision to cancel the second year of a watersports instructor course has left students feeling "that the rug has been pulled out from under their dreams," according to one parent.

The Watersports Instructor Diploma level three (A-level equivalent) course is no longer running at the school due to the minimum number of applicants not being met.

Mark Fernihough's son Harry completed the first year of the course (level two) hoping to progress to the next stage before being told the course was cancelled.

Mark said: "Mentally it has affected the students tremendously because they have spent a whole year planning a future based around the qualifications that they would achieve after completing the two year course, thus enabling them to pursue a career in the watersports industry."

The cancellation of the level three course means that students effectively will have to complete an additional year of training in a different course in order to obtain a level three qualification.

Students who are over the age of 19 on August 31 before they start the course will no longer be eligible for government funding and will have to pay fees themselves.

Mark went on to say: "From the big picture perspective obviously it is disastrous for local watersports businesses and the wider Cornish economy generally, there is a huge uptake at the end of the level three for the students as previously mentioned 100 per cent employment rate. So for these courses not to be available any more is disastrous for the business and economic perspective."

A spokesperson for Falmouth Marine School said that the institution was in "active discussion" in order to find a solution.

They said: "“We are in active discussion with parents and students and looking for a solution that works for everyone involved.

“All students who completed the [cancelled level three] course have found work in the watersports industry, and as The Career College for the South West, we are committed to getting people into rewarding careers while supporting the communities we serve.

“Colleges across the UK are tackling a 30 per cent reduction in funding over the last decade, so courses that aren’t financially viable will always be under scrutiny. Despite this, we are determined to ensure that we achieve a solution that is in the best interests of our students and our local community.”