Department for Education finds rural schools struggle to recruit

Tes reports this week on a new study from the Department for Education that finds even ‘successful’ small rural primary schools are still struggling to overcome financial difficulties, and facing challenges recruiting staff and delivering a broad curriculum.

The research was carried out to identify good practice for small rural primary schools using a sample of well-performing schools with less than 100 pupils.

Key findings include: staff in small rural schools are often less experienced, more expensive and less likely to leave their jobs than in large urban schools; a decline in pupil numbers causes a significant percentage drop in the school’s budget; and there is difficulty in negotiating good purchasing deals for small quantities of supplies.

The main challenge for teaching is mixed-age classes, some teachers found they had not had sufficient training to deliver these types of classes. The report then assessed the advantages and disadvantages for small rural schools of joining a multi-academy trust (MAT).

Full articles:

→ Tes - Even successful rural schools struggle to recruit

→ Department for Education - Running small rural primary schools efficiently report


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