There is hope for three of the six primary schools facing closure in Powys after the council said it was planning to defer a decision on them.
Campaigners have held several demonstrations
Councillors decide next week whether to shut three, but plan to carry out more research on the future of three others.
Recommended for closure to save £4m a year are Ysgol Thomas Stephens in Pontneathvaughan, Howey and Llangurig.
But Carno, Llanfihangel Yng Gwynfa and Ysgol Efyrnwy schools could receive a temporary reprieve.
The six schools were earmarked for closure after a council review found that there were more than 4,000 surplus primary places.
But the plans have led to several demonstrations by concerned villagers.
Powys Council's David Jones, who is responsible for schools, said "doing nothing was never an option" with surplus capacities running at 27%.
Ysgol Thomas Stephens, Pontneathvaughan - closure 2008
Howey Church-in-Wales - closure 2008
Llangurig - closure 2008
Llanfihangel Yng Gwynfa - more consultation
Ysgol Efyrnwy - more consultation
Carno - defer for review
He said it was costing an estimated £4m a year, leading to a disproportionate spend per pupil across schools and the council facing a £100m backlog in repairs and maintenance.
Mr Jones added: "I am recommending to the (council's) board that three schools, Ysgol Thomas Stephens, Howey Church-in-Wales and Llangurig, close with effect from August 31, 2008."
He also recommends that the council consult further on the future of Llanfihangel Yng Gwynfa and Ysgol Efyrnwy schools and defer a decision on Carno "until the completion of a review of the Llanidloes and Machynlleth secondary school areas."
A council meeting will decide on the proposals on 9 October.
Campaigners at the schools have said they will appeal to the Welsh Assembly Government if closure is approved..
Jeff Green, a parent in Howey and chairman of the village school action group, said the community would continue to fight the council's plans.
"This will be detrimental to the community and we will continue to fight the plans.
"We are opposed to the council's board making the decision about the future of our school. It should be the responsibility of the full council."
Cathy Bennett, chair of the campaign group in Carno, welcomed the temporary reprieve for her local school.
"The hard work we have put in has hopefully paid off," she added.