Eliza Hollis, head at three primaries - Tiffield, Whittlebury and Stoke Bruerne - said schools in rural areas are struggling to get pupils. She is encouraging parents to think 'outside the town' when they choose schools for their children.
Last month Northampton town centre schools were reported to have a 'sudden influx' of admissions. Five schools were forced to cope with demand. Tiffield has just 21 pupils but Mrs Hollis says many parents do not realise they can choose other schools with vacancies. "When I took over Tiffield it was in a period of instability and Ofsted had given it a notice of improvement. Within two weeks of my taking over that had been taken off. I think it is important for parents to realise that they can choose to send their children elsewhere. For parents in places like Hunsbury we're not that far away."
Mrs Hollis said students at the three sites interact with each other and Skype other pupils so there is great communication. She added: "If parents are commuting that way then they are driving straight past us and they can continue going to work. We are small schools, but it is a very nurturing environment and we have a helpful adult to pupil ratio. Bigger is not always better - we are small and unique."