The impact of school size reduction on the development of academic skills in rural primary schools

Rekers-Mombarg, L. T. M. & Hulshof, N., 2017, In : Pedagogische studien. 94, 2, p. 90-109 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Because of school size reduction, less favorable educational context and migration of high educated parents it is assumed that student achievement levels are gradually decreasing in rural areas. We studied the development of mathematics, reading comprehension and language decoding skills and whether this is influenced by the severity of school size reduction. Longitudinal data of 1600 pupils of 24 Dutch rural primary schools are used. Their average achievement level in grade one (6-7 year-olds), three-four, and six fluctuated slightly around the national average. Multilevel polynomial growth models show that in case of an underachieving cohort at grade one the lag of development is gradually eliminated, regardless of the severity the school size reduction. In grade six all pupil cohorts attain a similar level. Dutch primary schools in a rural area are able to react effectively to the severe consequences of the reducing school size.

Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)90-109
Number of pages20
JournalPedagogische studien
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017



View graph of relations

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 57033796