In rural Powys, UK, the cash-strapped county council has paid Price Waterhouse Cooper to assess the 'viability' of its secondary schools. At present there are thirteen and the distance between the furthest two is 105 miles (168 km). PWC says that a viable number would be 5 – meaning children would have to travel vast distances to school on minor roads and 8 small rural towns would have the heart cut out of them. A similar process is happening with primary schools.

In , US, parents recently occupied one of a number of small elementary schools, predominately serving low income children of colour, which are slated for closure. And although the differences between the communities in Baltimore and rural Wales are huge, the arguments used by parents and teachers are similar – children would have to travel out of their communities to go to school and their own communities would be gutted.

Meanwhile in , schoolchildren were attacked by riot police earlier this year, when they tried to take back their school playground from developers in the vast slum called Kibera. And in , India, the municipal authorities have offered the entire public school stock to private interests – NGOs, religious groups or private enterprises.

This land grab of the commons – in this case the commonly owned assets belonging to schools - is an integral part of the global neoliberal project to privatise and commodify everything. In the case of schools, it is part of the Global Education Reform Movement, which is seeking to run down public schools, privatise and profiteer on the deal.

And in all of those places: Powys, Baltimore, Kibera, Mumbai and all the other communities all over the world under attack, groups of parents, students, teachers and local people are getting together to fight back. Because while the 'reformers' may have the media, the ruling elites and a good tranche of politicians on their side, schools are embedded in their communities. For all their faults and shortcomings, they are much loved centres, representing places where all get together and where the future of those communities is nurtured. That is why although we, who are contesting closures, might lose some battles, we will not lose the war!