Kirsty Williams has launched a consultation on strengthening the School Organisation Code in respect of a presumption against closure of rural schools.
The BBC have said schools will now "get more protection from closure".
"If there is a consultation to close a school, all options and suggestions that emerge from this must be considered before a decision is made. This might include federation with other schools or increasing the community use of school buildings to make the school more viable.
"Rural schools are at the heart of community life. I therefore want to make sure these schools get a fair hearing when their future is being considered.
"These plans will play a key part in our national mission to raise standards and offer opportunities to all our young people."