DELIGHTED parents have won a reprieve for Cove's arson-hit Pinewood Infants' School.

They have been given a guarantee that the school will stay open until at least 2006.

Hampshire County Councillor Don Allen made the promise when he attended the school's re-opening.

But Coun. Allen, Hampshire's executive member for education, also warned that the school's long term future was still uncertain.

He said that would be decided after completion of a review of primary school provision in the area beyond 2006.

In the meantime the 95 pupils, including those who attend a language impairment unit, will be accommodated in temporary buildings and classrooms which were saved during the arson in March.

Mrs Mildred Stocks, school governors' chairman, said everyone had been "heartened" by Coun. Allen's comments.

"It means that all children, including those who begin school this September, will complete their three years at Pinewood," she said.

She hoped that the result of the county council's review would be announced by the end of the year.

Mrs Stocks is optimistic that the school, incorporating a playgroup and other community facilities, would be re-built.

She added that the governors were grateful to everyone who had helped the school to "rise from the ashes" within four weeks.

Classrooms have been refurbished to a high standard, and equipped with new furniture, books and play equipment. The grounds have also been landscaped.