Small schools are just as significant and influential in rural areas as the neighborhood church.
According to research on small schools from the Queen’s University of Belfast, that is the principals’ perspective (QUB).
According to the study, small rural schools have many advantages, including close ties to the community and low student-to-teacher ratios.
Many people deal with problems like declining enrollment and the possibility of closure. Small rural primary schools’ ties to their surrounding communities were examined as part of the “Small School Rural Community Study.”
The Education Authority (EA) claims that there are still too many rural schools in Northern Ireland that are small and “unsustainable.” According to the Department of Education’s (DE) sustainable school policy, primary schools must enroll at least 140 students in urban areas and 105 students in rural areas.
Around 230 of the 800 primary schools in Northern Ireland have fewer students than is recommended, according to the EA’s strategic plan for 2022–27.
The majority of those are in rural areas, with fewer than 105 students enrolled in 190 of 440 rural primary schools. The majority are in Tyrone, Antrim, or Down counties.