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Closure 'not fatal' to village

Research suggests villages do not disintegrate because of school closures, Argyll and Bute officials said yesterday (Thursday) in arguing for the closure of Rashfield school.

The 39-pupil school, in a scattered community not far from Holy Loch, is the latest target for a council with almost 5,000 surplus places.

A paper to the education committee by Ronnie Gould, head of education support services, stated: "There is little evidence in research to support the view that a school closure - or indeed a school opening - will result in population change or stimulate change in economic activity."

He told councillors, who have already ducked several closures, that there is little direct link between school provision and local economic growth.

"Provision of services, including education, is more a result of population and economic activity rather than a direct cause of them. Changes in patterns of education service provision occur as a response to changes in population levels and local economic activity," Mr Gould said.

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