asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many village schools have been reopened since 1960 having once been closed.
There have been none since January 1978 and I regret that information relating to earlier years could not be obtained except at disproportionate cost.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consultations he has and what consideration he gives to the effect on the local community, before agreeing to the closure of any village primary school.
It is for local education authorities to undertake consultations with parents, teaching or other staff and governors of any school concerned before submitting proposals to close a school. My right hon. and learned Friend then considers the proposal in the light of all the relevant evidence, the objections which have been submitted and any meetings he has held at the request of local groups. He takes full account of the social and educational effects of school closures before reaching his decision.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what criteria he uses to decide whether to confirm the closure of village primary schools.
My right hon. and learned Friend considers each proposal to close a school on its merits. Paragraphs 6 and 7 of circular 5/77 describe the educational, economic and other factors which are fully taken into account when such proposals are being examined. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many primary schools have been closed in Suffolk since 1970; and how many of those were village schools.
Twenty primary schools have been closed in Suffolk since 1970. All were village schools.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will issue a circular to local education committees giving advice on the closure of village primary schools.
Advice to local education authorities on the closure of schools is contained in the Department's circular 5/77. This covers schools in both urban and rural areas and there are no plans to issue a further circular.