SCHOOLS across Wales will be closing their doors for the start of the summer holiday, but in some cases those doors will never reopen.
Many small schools across Wales are facing closure as pupil numbers fall.
One Monmouthshire school will see its last pupils leave at the end of this term.
Llanellen Church in Wales Primary School near Abergavenny will close because pupil numbers have dropped to levels which are now unsustainably low.
There are currently just 24 pupils on the school roll and indicators show that this figure could fall to as few as nine when the new term starts in September.
Mark Rousseau, a school improvement officer for Monmouthshire County Council closely involved with Llanellen said the closure was on educational grounds.
"The closure is not economically motivated," he said. "It's more a case of facing reality."
Despite the claims that small schools give excellent service, parents and staff alike were concerned that the school's size was failing to provide pupils with a stimulating educational environment.
The school's governing body took positive steps to increase numbers last year. But leaflet drops throughout Llanellen and surrounding villages did little to reverse the trend.
Mr Rousseau explained the school's problems. "The school has always been small. But it has recently suffered a snowball effect with parents who are unwilling to send their children to a small school, going else-where."
Mr Rousseau stressed that the feeling between parents and the school was not confrontational.
"Parents and teachers alike have been very supportive," he said.
The impression presented by the school is that both sides are working together for a common goal.
But although this closure appears to be a straightforward resolution, it is a symptom of changing community structures throughout rural Wales.
An ageing population in villages like Llanellen has made it impossible to replace and sustain the numbers of children required for a school to continue.
Many young families have moved to the larger communities of Abergavenny and Monmouth, where they find more services and people of similar age.
Those who do live in villages are, according to Mr Davies, "voting with their feet" by transporting their children to larger schools a few miles from home.
Increasing numbers of couples of retirement age are moving to villages such as Llanellen, Llanfoist and Llanover driving up house prices beyond the reach of most young families with children.
With 225 schools in Wales educating a maximum of 50 pupils the continued future of many establishments looks shaky.
A statement of current education policy from the National Assembly, states that whilst "each school is looked at on its merits ... there could be higher costs involved (with) small schools".
Although Llanellen's case appears to centre around the quality of l e a r n i n g , many other closures may be motivated by the need to reduce pressures on over-stretched local authority budgets.
Hope has been given to some small schools - in the short term at least - by the announcement in April by Education Minister, Jane Davidson that she was making £2m available to boost rural and village schools.
However, despite new funding and claims in Estyn reports that small schools give "value for money" - on paper - they do appear very expensive.
For example, it currently costs £6,000 to educate each child at Ysgol Dinas on the North Wales coast - which is under a current closure order - compared with a countrywide cost of £2,000 per child.
From September, pupils - and hopefully their teachers - will be transferred to their preferred new schools.
But Llanellen will not officially close until the county council and National Assembly have made their final decision.
A National Assembly spokesman, Rory Powell said that anyone wishing to complain about the decision to close Llanellen primary school should write to the Assembly within one month.
Their members will have two further months in which to reach their final decision.