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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Council agrees to school closure
Pupil numbers at the school have fallen to single figures
A small rural school in Galloway where pupil numbers have dropped to single figures is set to be closed.

Councillors have agreed a proposal by education chiefs to shut Glentrool Primary and have asked the Scottish Executive to ratify the decision.

The move comes despite a campaign to save the school which locals claim delivers high standards of education.

Director of education Fraser Sanderson said there was no evidence the closure would negatively affect the community.

Meta Maltman from the local residents' association fears the move will see families leave the area.

I know I have heard often enough the argument that when a school closes it rips the heart out of a community
Fraser Sanderson
Director of education

"I think it will impact on the community by the fact that people who have school age children may start looking for options of living elsewhere," she said.

"It will make it extremely difficult to attract more people with primary school age children into the immediate Glentrool area.

"A 20-mile round trip every school day is not something most parents would want their young children to have to undertake."

Mr Sanderson said there was no evidence that school closures sent a community into decline.

"I know I have heard often enough the argument that when a school closes it rips the heart out of a community," he said.

"I would have to say that we don't actually have the evidence of this."


Indeed, he said there was a "counter-argument" that schools with small numbers of pupils had an adverse impact.

"People with young families often choose not to move into a community because the school is very small," he said.

"There are many families who don't actually want their children in a very small school.

"We have many examples around the region of communities in which schools have closed and yet the communities have flourished, house building has continued and young families have moved into the area."

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