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election forces school closure

15 April 2015

Schools are popular places for polling stations and whilst some larger schools are able to operate on election day, many smaller schools are forced to close.

Parents and schools are unhappy – a day of lost teaching and additional childcare costs for parents is not ideal. Ironically, missing a day’s education in this manner goes against the government policy on attendance where "every day in school matters".

There are no conclusive statistics for how many schools will close but online lists show that some areas rely heavily on schools for their polling stations. Some local authorities are making use of alternative facilities but schools are often chosen as they are free, have disabled access and are 'tried and tested'.

Publicly-funded schools (including academies) cannot legally refuse to be used as a polling station nor can they charge for the privilege. Some schools and parents will need to plan ahead for school closures on 7 May.

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