Australian Journal of Education

Article Title

Village schools in England: At the heart of their community?


Recent debates within UK rural studies have stressed the shifting interplay of economic, social, political and cultural forces, with a concomitant blurring as to what constitutes rural living, rural spaces and even rural occupations. This article situates the rural school within this social, cultural and political landscape and attends to the frequently heralded discursive policy conviction that ‘local schools are at the heart of many rural communities’. The research applies an inclusive model of ethnography, drawing on participant observation, interviews and documentary analysis, to facilitate a multifaceted engagement, and holistic exploration of the role and place of the village school in two contrasting English rural localities.