Protect our rural schools, says teaching union

The Yorkshire Post reports that rural schools are struggling to survive under squeezed budgets are under threat and should be given protected status, a teaching union has warned.

Delegates at the National Education Union (NUT section) conference in Brighton said they wanted to see more funding for rural schools to help protect their existence and provide a quality education for pupils.

The conference called on the union’s executive to put pressure on the Government to “give rural schools a protected status, recognising their significance for the survival of their communities and valuing the educational offer they give to their pupils”.

Former Scarborough headteacher Anne Swift, a previous president of the NUT from 2016-2017, said that as head of a rural village school, she had worried every year about numbers of pupils, knowing the impact it would have on issues like class sizes and workload.

“More and more schools are federating to avoid closure or redundancies, and although this can bring benefits in terms of sharing expertise, facilities, training and enriching the curriculum for the children, we need to consider more fully the implications for good or ill of this.”

She said she thought her area had “more sheep than people”, adding that the Government defines small schools as having less than 200 pupils and “in many shire counties that’s the majority of primary schools”.

Read more Protect our rural schools, says teaching union

Do you work in a rural school or do your children attend one? How worried are you about your job or their future at the school? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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