Communities like Edale rely on their schools. Research has shown that the closure of small rural schools like ours can have a major impact on a village. An investigation by the Shropshire Independent Policy Commission (detailed in the 2010 DEFRA State of the Countryside Report) highlighted a number of issues arising in communities where schools had closed. These included disruption to the education and social life of the children as they were transported and dispersed to a variety of other schools, loss of children’s after school activities, a change in the dynamics of parish life and a breakdown of social networks and friendship groups within the village. Indeed, without its many young families Edale would be a very different place and some might argue these effects are already starting to be seen. We need the school to keep the community together, continue to attract new families and keep the vibrant community spirit we enjoy here alive.
Research has shown that a smaller class size has a positive impact on attainment and behaviour in the early years of school. Significantly smaller class sizes are proven to improve academic achievement as the ability to spend more time with each child allows teachers to get to know their personal strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, ensuring that their individual needs are met. (Wilson (2006), Blatchford and Mortimer (1994)).
Wilson V. (2006) Does Small Really Make A Difference? An update. A review of the literature on the effects of class size on teaching practice and pupils’ behaviour and attainment. SCRE Research Report No. 123, University of Glasgow
Blatchford, P. & Mortimer, P. (1994) The issue of class size for young children in schools: what can we learn from research? Oxford Review of Education, 20, 4, 411-428.