Five schools around Clacton, in Essex, are to reduce spending in some areas to ease a funding crisis.
Headteachers say the measure will not affect pupils
The headteachers have decided to cut teacher training and staff appraisals, and to scrap targets for some pupils to try to ease a cash crisis.
Peter Halliday, the headteacher of the Holland Haven Primary School in Holland-on-Sea, told BBC Essex the cuts would not directly affect pupils.
Mr Halliday said: "I think in the short-term, education won't be damaged.
"We spent some time trying to identify actions which wouldn't affect the children on a short-term basis.
"But I think our feeling is that unless this is sorted out, it won't be our actions that damage children long-term - it will be the lack of money that's coming to schools."
Councils say they have not received the money needed to overcome a educational funding shortage.
The government this year accused local authorities of withholding more than £500m intended for heads - a claim the National Association of Head Teachers dismissed earlier this month.