AN Allen Valleys primary school has continued on its remarkable turnaround just three years after it looked certain to close.

Whitfield Primary School was threatened with closure in 2016 and looked set to close its doors for good.

But the school was saved at the last moment when it joined the Good Shepherd multi-academy trust.

Now, staff and pupils have cause to celebrate after the school received a ‘good’ rating in its Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) inspection.

The inspection praised the school’s theological direction, as well as staff’s focus on individual pupils and organised events with the community.

Michael Mill, director at the Good Shepherd Trust and director of education for Carlisle Diocese praised the school’s leadership.

Mr Mill said: “We’re very pleased. It reflects the progress that the school has made in all areas since becoming part of the trust.

“We’re very grateful to Katherine Ayre, the headteacher, for all her commitment and hard work and for taking the school forward.

“It’s just wonderful to see the transformation that has taken place and to see the staff blossom and grow.”

Since being taken over by the Good Shepherd Trust, the school has expanded its age range to take on nursery pupils, and has been praised by Hexham MP Guy Opperman.

The school’s good rating has been made all the more impressive by the fact that the SIAMS inspections have recently been undertaken with more stringent guidelines.

Mr Mill added: “There’s a new inspection framework for SIAMS.

“Whitfield will be one of the first to be inspected under the new, more challenging framework.

“The fact they’ve done this is very commendable.”