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Campaigners warn communities will 'die' if rural schools close

Campaigners have taken to the steps of the Senedd today, to hand over a petition calling for more money for education across Wales, particularly in rural schools, as they fear potential closures:

It's not just the school that close, the whole community dies when the school goes. Now what we're saying is the Welsh Government in their formula need to take this into account. I know they already do, but clearly not enough because otherwise so many schools wouldn't be being closed.

– Mary Compton, Organiser

Mary Compton, who has organised today's protest to save Powys' schools, believes this is a critical moment for education in rural areas.

She thinks the Welsh Government need to fight for more money from the UK Government, to fund schools.

Campaigners took to the Senedd steps today Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

But the Welsh Government say they're aware of the challenges rural schools face, and funding takes those additional costs into account:

It is important to note that despite UK Government budget cuts, the latest Treasury figures show that education spending per head in Wales is higher than it is in England.

“We have also delivered on our commitment to protect school budgets by 1% above changes to the Welsh block overall, providing an additional £106million for schools over the current Assembly term.

– A Welsh Government spokesperson

Next week, the Government will set out their spending plans for 2016-17, in their Draft Budget. Campaigners hope education spending will be a priority.

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