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Schools: Rural Areas

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of rural schools that are likely to close in each year to 2015. (150258)

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of rural schools that are likely to close in each year to 2015. Decisions about school closures are made by the local authority, or schools adjudicator. When considering proposals, local authorities and the schools adjudicator are required to have regard to statutory guidance which contains a presumption against closing rural primary schools. While this does not mean that no rural primary school will ever close, the case for closure must be strong and in the best interests of educational provision in the area.

Local authorities are responsible for the overall planning of school places in their area and we expect them to ensure that school places are where parents want them.