The Department for Education has updated its list of council-run primary schools with rural designation. The list was initially developed in 2017 to recognise the importance schools play in sparser communities and their vulnerability due to lower pupil numbers.
There is a presumption against the closure of schools designated as 'rural', and any council considering closing one will have to carry out consultation and prove that it is a last resort. It comes as schools in rural areas struggle to cover rising costs, with those in more remote communities - particularly those with an ageing population - facing the additional pressure of filling places.
Bicester Advertiser - Oxfordshire schools designated as rural in new listings
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