The Conservative Party is supporting the Rural Development sub-committee’s decision to consult with communities before closing small schools.
Andrew Davies has issued a press release that says they “will also support communities which want to take responsibility for local assets such as schools where there is a strong business case to do so.”
So it seems like everyone is on the same side but is it really a victory for small community schools?
These schools are often not viable by any modern standard. They cannot compete for the best teachers, they struggle to buy the necessary equipment and the costs per-head are dramatically greater than larger schools.
Any formal review process (whether it consults with the local community or not) will come to this conclusion.
But there’s an argument that local schools offer something that cannot be measured with statistics: a sense of community.
Not to mention the time and attention a teacher can give to a single pupil in an age when we’re growing more and more worried about the size of classes in inner-city schools.
Will these arguments wash with present-day decision-makers? I hate to put a dampener on things, but I really really don’t think they will…