A private school in Moray, with star-studded links to Hollywood, has avoided having to shut its doors after a late rescue bid.
Drumduan School in Forres was threatened with closure amid concerns about crippling debts, which left it struggling to pay staff and bills.
But families launched an online fundraising campaign in order to raise the £36,000 which was required to keep the Steiner-inspired classrooms open.
Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton became involved with the school in 2013, but resigned as a director in April this year – just months after appealing directly to the Scottish Government’s education secretary John Swinney for support.
Emergency talks were held by the school’s Friends, Teachers and Parents Association (FTPA) this week, where a funding package from Findhorn-based Ekopia Social Investments was discussed.
A social media post from the group explained that the 95 people who attended had all decided to accept the offer from the organisation.
It stated: “There was a massive turnout and a unanimous vote for the plan for Ekopia to purchase a 60% share of the lower school building and grounds – which will allow the school to clear all its current debts.
“There are 80 students expected to begin the term, which means the school may even make a modest surplus this year.
“The teachers felt full of positive energy and have been joined by great new colleagues.”
Ekopia aims to promote rural regeneration and sustainable economies by providing financial or technical assistance, in addition to business advice or support. It also has the power to offer loans or guarantees.
Drumduan’s FTPA was formed in May after parents and teachers discovered that the school was facing serious financial difficulties.
The fundraising campaign, spearheaded by families of pupils, raised nearly £9,400. It is understood that the money was used to help affected teachers pay rent and other bills.
Efforts from the group to raise cash included establishing an investment fund and holding a party in woodland near Elgin.
Steiner schools follow the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, who was born in Croatia in 1861, which involves developing pupils’ artistic and practical skills through creativity without any formal exams.
The most recent accounts filed by Drumduan at Companies House in May revealed that the charity had liabilities of £121,000 at the end of July last year.
That was after receiving £366,000 worth of donations during the previous 12 months, which accounted for about half its income.