A Moray private school with links to Oscar winner Tilda Swinton is running out of time to raise the £36,000 it needs to stay open.
The star became involved with Drumduan School in Forres back in 2013 as a reaction to her own “Edwardian” childhood.
However, she resigned as a director earlier this year – just months after she made an unsuccessful direct appeal to Education Secretary John Swinney to give the school more support.
Now the school, based on Steiner principles – which teaches more than 80 pupils aged up to 18 but holds no formal exams – could be on the brink of shutting down due to a shortage of funds.
A crowdfunder has been launched to raise £36,000 and secure its future. But with just four days left it has raised little more than £8,500.
Parents and teachers first learned about the financial difficulties last month.
The most recent accounts filed by the school with Companies House in May revealed the charity had liabilities of £121,000 at the end of last July.
That was after receiving £366,000 worth of donations during the previous 12 months, which accounted for about half of its total income.
They added: “The school is dependent upon the continued support of the bank, other creditors and, in particular, the generous donors.
“The trustees are confident that this support will continue to be forthcoming and that the financial statements should be prepared on a going concern basis.”
Swinton, a co-founder of the school, resigned in April, and four directors stood down recently. They have since been replaced.
A new Friends, Parents and Teachers Association has also been created to try to preserve the school, which is the only one of its kind in the north of Scotland and charges annual fees of up to £8,500.
If the association hits the £36,000 target, it would allow the school to remain open into the next academic year and pay teachers.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
Other fundraising efforts from families include establishing an investment fund and holding a party in woodland near Elgin.
Tom Allan, who launched the appeal, wrote online: “There is still much uncertainty about what will happen next. We are hoping to save the current school buildings and land, where the school has been based for some 30 years.
“But without a swift injection of funds, that may not be possible.
“Whatever happens next, many of our teachers and parents have committed to continuing to provide an inspiring education for our kids in this wild and wonderful part of Scotland – because we believe that the true wealth of a school lies in the people that make it happen.”
The crowdfunder is at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/drumduan-emergency-fund.