England's 'smallest primary school' has just THIRTEEN pupils after local population dip

Yahoo News.
Tight-knit: Bleasdale Head Mr Ian Cookson with all the pupils. (SWNS)

With one member of staff for every two pupils, children at this primary school are never short of one-on-one teacher attention.

The tiny Bleasdale Church of England Primary School near Preston is thought to be the smallest primary in England - with just 13 pupils.

The already-small school now has a pupil count barely in double figures due to a local population dip in Lancashire.

Numbers at the school dramatically dropped when the number of farms in the Bleasdale hills dropped from 26 to just six.

But despite the small class sizes, the pupils aged four to 11, enjoy extensive facilities, including recently refurbished classrooms, extensive ground and home-cooked meals.

Headteacher 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.

Small classes: The school has one member of staff for every two pupils. (SWNS)
The entire school enjoy some outdoor play time. (SWNS)

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'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.'

The students are taught in two classes and their unique learning environment means they benefit from weekly swimming sessions and receive weekly specialist PE and sports coaching.

Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, praised the advantages such child centred education 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.'

Pupils Harry, Grace and Crystal during a geography lesson. (SWNS)