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"Better Schools"

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 28 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the 1985 White Paper entitled "Better Schools" remains Government policy in respect of the recommended size of rural primary schools.

The White Paper set out some general principles concerning the size thresholds at which schools of different types can economically deliver a satisfactory curriculum. My right hon. Friend does not intend these principles to be interpreted as narrowly prescriptive, or as providing a set of bench marks for the closure of schools. Before formulating proposals for the closure of rural schools local authorities and voluntary bodies should take account also of wider considerations including the distances to be travelled to alternative schools in the event of closure and of the age of the children making these journeys.