Behind the uncertainty and stresses of controlling the pandemic the council have announced a plan to close many of our smaller village schools.

There are reasons why these village schools are good and better than sending children away to larger schools.

The dedication of the staff and small class numbers provides a key each child’s needs, with individuals supported one to one.

Children are better able to help one another, and there is lots of safe outdoor learning space for hands-on gardening, nature study and outdoor activities.

There are two big sports fields, a playground, a garden, fenced pond and wild area. Safe local nature walks.

Teaching independence and to value your own community, also keeps villages together and growing.

It encourages children to return as an adult. Gives young life at the centre of the community. Creates a web of connections with local people. Sends a statement of where we place our values.

Local friendships for life give a foundation that honours and respects the village.

There is less distance for children to travel. It sends a message that, yes, you can succeed on the local scale. A local school is a microcosm of the world. It can work from tiny beginnings.

It is a poor plan that proposes throwing away good working schools, hollowing out valuable communities in an already sparsely populated countryside.

Since the lockdowns the benefits of rural life have been evident and becoming even more valued.

Supporting and encouraging rural life is now being recognised as a key component to lower our carbon footprint.

It’s time to value our rural life and build upon it at this time of hopeful regeneration from the pandemic.

So please don’t destroy these essential parts of our communities.

Richard Oke

Address supplied