Stories + Views
The death of the small village primary school in England
The death of the small village primary school?
Even in the city, the image of the idyllic village complete with pub, post office, and primary school, evokes strong feelings. More so in the villages themselves. Could this romantic vision be gone forever?
We have all seen the problems caused when villages lose their post office and attached shop. Up until now the primary school has been reasonably safe. This is changing. And this change is inevitable and was foreseeable.
Mr Gove’s plan to turn all schools into independent state funded Academies is gathering momentum fast. When the number of schools left working within the Local Authority (LA) structure becomes small, the LA no longer benefits from economies of scale, and cannot afford to support its own schools. At this point all schools in an LA need to become Academies, and take on all aspects of running a school without any outside help.
This is fine for large secondary schools as they have sufficient staffing and a large enough budget to survive, and they are used to managing themselves. Small primary schools do not. As Warwick Mansell says here, for Academy chains, a small primary school is too risky to take on. So the small primaries really are on their own with no-one to help. Something they have never experienced before.
What will be the reaction of conservative Middle England when they discover too late that their Conservative Party policy has delivered the death of their village primary school?
If you live in a Lincolnshire village you need to wake up fast. You will be the first recipients of Mr Gove’s ill thought through experiment with what was a national education system. Start saving for the fees of a prep school nearby.