A COUNCIL planning to close a £4m school that has just opened says the building will still be used for education.

Throckley Middle School, in Newcastle, which was built under the controversial private finance initiative, opened earlier this month.

But Newcastle City Council wants to close the school as part of a shake-up of education in the outer west area of the city.

The pfi bid, which included other new schools, was put together four years ago but since then the council has decided to scrap middle schools in the area.

If the council gets its way, the school will stop admitting children from 2005's autumn term and will close a year later.

A council spokeswoman said that under the deal, the buildings would have to be used as a school.

One possibility is that it could house the local primary school that could be moved from its existing buildings.

"We have always intended to use the Throckley Middle School building as an educational facility, possibly as a primary school."

She said that the council had tried to persuade the school's governors to delay the pfi scheme before work started, but said they refused.

Parents have formed a campaign group, Save Our Schools, to fight for Throckley Middle and two others facing closure, Chapel House and Chapel Park schools.

They may take legal action.

Group member Wendy Johnson said: "We will fight the council all the way on this and won't give up this superb school.''