A SCHOOL that 12 months ago was staring closure in the face has agreed a deal to secure its future.

Greenhead Primary School was one of 16 schools across the district threatened with closure in 2018 during Northumberland County Council’s consultation on education.

The school was at risk in two of the three options put forward by the council, and it’s future was thrown into further doubt last March, when the school’s governors caused outrage when they announced a proposal to close the school and merge it with Henshaw Primary School in Bardon Mill.

Chairman of governors David Ratcliff admitted governors were convinced that closure was inevitable for the school, which he said was £200,000 in debt, and had suffered fluctuating pupil numbers.

However, the governors responded to the criticism from parents and told the council they were committed to keeping the school open.

In May, the council announced its intention to support the school with a three-year recovery plan.

Now, following a recent visit by the county council’s director of education, Dean Jackson, the council has made a “substantial offer” to help the school reduce the deficit.

In a letter to parents, Mr Ratcliff said: “He (Mr Jackson) was enormously impressed by the school.

“I am very pleased to report that NCC have made a substantial offer to help the school reduce its deficit and, in addition, to embark on a ten-year programme with the school to give the time we need to clear it.

“We will continue to work hard in budgetary terms, but Mr Jackson’s visit has given us the support of NCC in our endeavours and guaranteed us this future.

“The future’s good, the future’s Greenhead.”

Speaking to the Courant, Mr Ratcliff added: “What we have done is commit ourselves to the future of the school by working with our parent community to make sure the school has a future.

“If we had more children we would be more viable, but we now have a solid basis for the future, and we want to reassure parents that we’re open for business.

“It’s a lovely school with lots of great things going on, it’s a lovely happy place.”

However, neither Mr Ratcliff nor Northumberland County Council would say how much public money had been given to the school.

Deputy leader and portfolio holder for children’s services, Coun. Wayne Daley, was contacted for comment but did not respond.

A council spokeswoman stated that Mr Jackson had enjoyed his visit to the school, but added that the council could not comment on the details of the funding agreed.