Councillors have agreed to keep three rural primaries in Dumfries and Galloway open following significant community and political opposition.
The proposals could have paved the way to shut schools in Ae, Garlieston and Kirkbean.
However, they were "paused" in the light of "wide-ranging" representations against the move.
A council committee agreed to keep the three schools open with their future assured for the next five years.
A bid to offer a formal apology to the parents and teachers affected was voted down.
However, director of education Colin Grant told councillors: "If communities felt that the council was in some way against them, then I would apologise for that."
He has also given a commitment to visit each school next month to consider ideas to promote "sustainable growth" of the schools.
An apology will also be given at that time for any "omissions and errors" in the consultation process.
In addition, councillors were told there were no plans for any further school closure consultations in the near future.