Friday, 2 February 2007

Devon school gets a reprieve

Chawleigh is a small village in that lovely quiet rural area that is south of the North Devon link road but north of Dartmoor and the A30 dual carriageway. My late parents once lived the other side of the Little Dart River (not to be confused with the Dart of Dartmoor) at Chulmleigh and I have a real affection for that neck of the woods.

Chawleigh's primary school with its falling number of pupils (13 I read somewhere) is under threat of closure. It has now been announced that it can stay open for another 6 months with its future decided by an independent adjudicator. Governors of the school are working with education officers to show that the school provides an acceptable standard of education.

I believe that "small is beautiful" as they say. Correction: I am passionate about "small is beautiful". This is one of the reasons for my strong feelings about Devon and Cornwall where small villages and vibrant market towns predominate and huge conurbations are absent thank goodness. But the downside, and sadly there has to be a downside, is that in cost terms there is economy of size to consider. In fact, as evidenced by the ongoing threat to post offices for example, one of the greatest problems for decision makers is getting the balance between what is economically viable and maintaining local services. Our much maligned councillors have the unenviable task of getting that balance right, a real problem sometimes.

I wish the villagers of Chawleigh success in their endeavours.

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