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Economy Economy

Support village schools in rural areas

Last updated: 08:17pm 13 November 2019

We will support […] village schools in rural areas.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.26

Our verdict

According to rural education statistics from the Department for Education, in 2016, pupils from deprived backgrounds in rural areas achieved overall lower levels of attainment than their urban counterparts. Moreover, rural community schools present specific challenges, with smaller amounts of savings and funds available to respond to the sustainability and teacher retention challenges faced across the education sector. So, the government promised to support village schools.

In February 2019, the government announced a £3 million pilot programme to provide gigabit broadband to village primary schools. Over 100 schools in rural areas are expected to take part to the scheme, which will help classes access online educational content. In March 2019, the government published ‘Running rural primary schools efficiently’, a research paper exploring ways for small rural primary schools to improve efficiency using available resources.

With the pilot scheme for gigabit broadband connection and the guidance on efficiency in rural primary schools, we have evidence that the government is enacting measures aimed at supporting  village schools, so this policy is ‘in progress’.

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