AN MP last night urged Labour-controlled Stirling Council to suspend its decision on a rural village school in Perthshire following a warning by education minister Brian Wilson at the weekend that no closure should be solely on cost grounds, writes Keith Sinclair.

In a move which will be welcomed in rural communities throughout Scotland, local authorities have been told by Mr Wilson to ensure that there is a ''credible educational justification'' for such closures.

Last night, Anne McGuire, Labour MP for Stirling, said she had asked for an urgent meeting with the minister to discuss the closure of Kinbuck School near Dunblane ''in the context of his speech''.

At a rural schools seminar in Dunoon on Saturday, Mr Wilson said guidelines were designed not to favour closures or retention, but to guarantee the credibility of the process.

''I have previously made clear my view that no school should close on financial grounds alone. There must also be credible educational justification for closure. I am going further by inviting education authorities to apply a test of proportionate advantage to any proposed closure of a rural primary school.

''In other words, do the educational and financial gains deriving from a closure stand up to scrutiny and do they outweigh the negative effects on that rural community and the children and their families which that closure will have?''