There is much debate at the moment surrounding this government’s plans to academise all schools. One potential effect of this is the closure of small and rural schools, in particular primary schools, as academy trusts seek to make schools ‘financially viable’. Before this is allowed to take place perhaps the government need to consider the wider potential impact of this…
- Increased emissions from transporting children further from home to school
Less investment in local businesses like village shops and childminders
A decrease in community cohesion
It’s this last point I want to expand on briefly. I know that, as a parent, sending my children to the local primary school enabled our family to be integrated into the local community – from friendship circles to work opportunities, advice on local facilities to a sense of belonging – the local school played a key role in the development of our social networks, widening them to include one who we would not naturally meet through other means, providing support and opportunities where they would not otherwise have existed.
While I realise not everyone in a community has children, for those that do, their local primary school is not just a place to send their children to be educated, it is a hub for community building and cohesion.