According to curriculum expert David Zyngier the cost of running small schools in the Goulburn Valley could present economic hardship in the future.
‘‘There is a large number of very small primary schools with fewer than 15 students receiving a huge amount of state and federal funds,’’ he said.
‘‘I believe it would be more economical to use buses to bring these children to a more centralised location where they will have access to a broader range of opportunities and curriculum.’’
However, Dr Zyngier believes there is a lot to be said for academic progress with peer-to-peer education.
‘‘Peer group impact is one of the most effective factors on academic outcomes,’’ he said.
‘‘Multi-level classrooms with a very good teacher will allow students to progress as fast or slow as they need to.
‘‘With peer assistance, students can make great strides.’’
Dr Zyngier also stressed the importance of highly-skilled teachers when working across different age groups to provide individualised attention.
‘‘In these communities, the small school is often all that is left and in many ways they are what keeps these communities going.’’