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Small schools halve since 1980

The Guardian and The Times report that the number of small schools in England has halved since 1980

Small schools in rural and village environments are twice as likely to have closed than in urban areas.

According to the House of Commons Library, there were almost 11,500 small primary schools in England with 200 or fewer pupils in 1980, but by 2018 the number had plummeted to fewer than 5,500. In particular, since 2010 more than 61 per cent of primary schools in England that have closed have been in rural areas. Conservative MP Neil O’Brien blamed budget cuts for the closures.

A Department for Education spokesperson commented: ‘We recognise the importance of rural schools, the role they play in their communities and the circumstances they face. That is why the national funding formula allocates additional funding of £25m specifically for small and remote schools.’

Full articles:

→ The Guardian - Number of small schools in England has halved since 1980

→ The Times - Warning over decline of village primaries

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