A PRIMARY school that was faced with closure has been saved at the eleventh hour.

Al-Asr Primary School, based in Blackburn, is a private independent school.

But parents at the 75 pupil school were told to find alternative places for their children after a decision to close the school was taken by the governing body due to ‘unforeseen financial circumstances’.

However headteacher Mrs Noreen Hameed has revealed that preparations are underway to apply for ‘free’ school status to become a government funded school.

And staff at the school have launched fundraising initiatives to raise much needed funds to keep the school open.

Mrs Hameed said: "I am grateful to the present governors. With their support we have had the opportunity to have our school running for 13 years.

“Having been the headteacher since the formation of the school, I have watched it grow year by year and I was deeply saddened by this news.

“If the school were to close, it would be a huge loss to the parents, the children and the many teachers that together form the school."

Al-Asr Primary School will reopen with a new name of Palm Tree Primary School in September 2012. And staff at the school have launched fundraising initiatives to raise much needed funds.

Mrs Hameed said: “Al-Asr Primary School will remain the same but with a new name. However we hope to expand our current school and to implement a 'low fee structure'. We have already gained substantial interest from the community.”

The headteacher and governors is holding a fundraising dinner on May 26, at Maida Restaurant. Guest Speakers expected for the event include George Galloway.

There are also plans to showcase the school at the Queens Jubilee Celebration that will be organised by Mrs Hameed at New Bank Road on June 3.

The school has been rated as oustanding and inspectors noted the good levels of learning that takes place in classrooms.There are also plans to open a nursery in the near future.

To enrol at Palm Tree Primary School, and for further event details or donations contact Mrs Hameed on 07949 191983.