Not really so many closures

25th July 2008 at 01:00

The rate at which schools in rural Wales are closing is being exaggerated. An Assembly government report says the pace of rural school closures is "nothing like as great as is sometimes portrayed".

Since the National Assembly was established in 1999, 35 small rural schools have closed in Wales, 12 of which were approved at a local level. But around 200 rural primaries currently face the axe due to falling pupil rolls.

A third of primary schools in Wales are considered small schools as they have fewer than 90 pupils. Some village schools have just eight.

A Welsh Local Government Association report says that across rural authorities in Wales, annual per-pupil spend varies from amp;#163;1,932 to amp;#163;15,532, unsustainable for some.

But the National Association for Small Schools says they are not a significant part of overall LA budgets and do not drain resources from other parts of the school system.

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