Only 13 rural schools have been approved for closure in the past five years, according to schools minister Stephen Timms.
In 1997 and 1998, the first two years of the last Labour government, nine closures were approved. But this fell to two per year in 1999 and 2000. No closures of rural schools have been agreed so far this year.
Mr Timms was replying to a question from Liberal Democrat MP Colin Breed. He added that although a number of governing bodies of further education colleges had been dissolved, in each case educational courses have been continued by another institution.