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ERIC Number: ED184802
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr-10
Reference Count: 0
Rural Primary School Closures in England.
Whitfield, Richard C.
A three-phase interdisciplinary effort between educators and environmental planners is focusing on the social effects of rural primary school reorganization now occuring in England as a result of a declining birth rate and the resulting need for school closure. A questionnaire mailed nationally to rural Local Education Authorities, cross-community case studies of 24 villages (10 of which still have a primary school), and 'before' and 'after' monitoring studies of the closure of 2 primary schools are providing data on the interaction between schools and communities facing this issue. This study indicates that the effects of school closure are clearly linked to and conditioned by the relations which existed between school and community prior to closure. That is, the social roles of rural schools diminish as the number of pupils decrease, due to less parental involvement and less impetus from staff to stimulate community involvement. Adjustment to the loss of social activities appears to occur quite quickly as people find alternative meeting places. However, it is suggested that the fact that people 'adjust' should not imply they do not feel and resent the loss of the school, both personally and in community terms. Closures affect most groups without regular access to independent transportation, particularly the elderly and young mothers, and in several areas this seems to increase the social strain between these disadvantaged groups and the more affluent and mobile 'newcomers' to rural areas. (NEC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: England; Primary Schools (United Kingdom)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 7-11, 1980).