England's Smallest School Has Just 13 Pupils


Parents in a Lancashire village don't have to worry about school places and class sizes for their children – because theirs is England's smallest school with just 13 pupils.

Only seven girls and six boys attend Bleasdale Church of England Primary School, near Preston – and the benefits of a small class size are enormous.

The school boasts recently refurbished classrooms, extensive grounds and home-cooked meals. They also benefit from weekly swimming sessions and receive weekly specialist PE and sports coaching. Numbers at the school dramatically dropped when the number of farms in the Bleasdale hills dropped from 26 to just six.

Head teacher Ian Cookson, who is also head of another small school and splits his time between the two, said: "When people say small schools are like a big family it can get a bit corny, but actually my two small schools really are.

"It's a really nice atmosphere and because they are both church aided schools you can be quite open about your own personal faith and you hope that will have a positive impact on the school community."

Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, also praised the advantages the small class size brings.

He said: "You've only got to visit them to see the huge advantage of being educated in such an amazing environment.

"It's education second to none - looking at a gem up here in the hills. It's an amazing start in life.

"It's trying to get some of the opportunities for people growing up in an urban environment to get an education in this kind of rural environment. It's this huge potential in these village schools."