Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

By the Numbers - Rural Schools: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

By the Numbers - Rural Schools: News

Article excerpt

More than 40 per cent of 10-year-olds around the world go to school in small towns or rural areas, according to data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls).

Keeping schools in these areas viable is an issue for most governments, which are responsible for redistributing funds to ensure that students everywhere have access to education.

In the UK, the government has been moving towards increasing the proportion of a school's funding allocated on a per-student basis, but this is causing problems in rural regions. As a result, this year the rules are being changed to allow local authorities to give extra money to rural schools.

In the US, meanwhile, new legislation has been passed to allow money to be given to counties that previously paid for rural schools out of timber revenues, which have fallen sharply in recent years.

Pirls, administered by Boston College in the US, shows that, on average, 10-year-olds living in rural areas perform less well in reading than those in small towns. …

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