Letter: Academies not answer

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

The announcement in the Budget forcing all schools in Shropshire to become academies will impact hugely on our schools.

The Government's view is also that no school of 50 pupils or less can become an academy. This would put at risk almost every primary school in South West Shropshire – that is an area that covers more than 300 square miles!

Schools are vital parts of rural communities providing local jobs and bringing money into shops and post offices.

This closure of small schools owing to academisation and freezing of budgets by the Government is yet another nail in the coffin of our rural villages.

I am appalled that there is so little understanding of rural areas whose schools invariably provide excellent education.

It is also the Government's view that schools on one site need to have around 120 pupils. In rural Shropshire this could mean children may well end up being only educated in towns, four-year-olds could be forced to travel for well over an hour to get to school on the current circuitous picking up routes.

The freezing of school funding will also cause cuts in budgets as the minimum wage is raised any other pressure eat into the money spent on educating our children.

All this from the so-called party of the countryside!

Councillor Heather Kidd, Chair of Governors for Chirbury & Stiperstones Federation and former teacher

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