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Schools as polling stations

(16 Posts)
Mosschopz Wed 18-May-16 22:47:09

Why? DS's school closed to all years earlier this month and will do so again for the referendum. Two days education lost so the school can open as a polling station, in this era of government message of every school day counts. I don't get it!

Samcro Wed 18-May-16 22:59:01

because they are the easiest places... yawn

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 18-May-16 23:04:20

Because they are everywhere so easy for the majority to access.

BackforGood Wed 18-May-16 23:13:23

I agree with you OP (and it doesn't even affect me as my dc are too old). there are zillions of places they could use - Church halls, community halls, Scout huts, libraries, even set up some booths in shopping centres like the set up Father Christmas grottos wink
Even use a portacabin or a bus. It wouldn't be hard.
It is totally ridiculous to shut down a whole school to provide a couple of booths for people to vote in.

GreenBeans17 Wed 18-May-16 23:14:02

My school used to stay open! It was just 1 classroom. However, as PPs have said, they're everywhere...

wannabetennisplayer Wed 18-May-16 23:22:12

My understanding (although I could be wrong!) is that children are guaranteed a certain number of days of education per year - so they don't lose two days of education - the days will be fitted in elsewhere in the academic year.

All sorts of venues including church halls, scout huts etc are used but a lot of venues are needed and there will be a lot of requirements they have to meet e.g. disabled access, toilets, running water, preferably heating (depending on the time of year and the layout of the venue) etc.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 18-May-16 23:23:57

I don't see how they can fit in the extra day, the referendum was sprung on us with short notice and they've already used up the inset day for the elections...

whatsonyourplate Wed 18-May-16 23:39:55

My dc's primary is usually closed on polling days, but they aren't closing for the referendum as they'd already done the holidays when it was announced.

So don't know if that means they are still being a polling station but staying open or what.

I'm just over the parish boarder so my polling station is a couple of miles in the other direction.

Iggi999 Wed 18-May-16 23:44:39

Schools here aren't shut, though it's the second last week of term so they wouldn't miss all that much.

soapboxqueen Wed 18-May-16 23:48:59

Schools are used because there are so many of them and therefore most people will be able to walk to them. They're aren't enough community halls and churches etc and not in the right locations.

Most schools have to close because the polling station has to have open access to the public which means the security of the children is compromised. Some schools can manage to stay open or only close some year groups depending on the layout of their building.

Children do not lose a days education. Schools have 5 days teaching training per year and they will have been warned about the referedum even if there wasn't a confirmed date. So they should have kept an INSET day in reserve. If not they'll add it somewhere else.

The only time children have lost out on a day is when we have had extra bank holidays like when Kate and Prince William got married.

whatsonyourplate Thu 19-May-16 09:38:05

Well I've just found out that they are using our school as a polling station but it's staying open this time confused.

NickiFury Thu 19-May-16 09:48:09

They don't lose two days of education at all it gets put onto the end of term or something.

I love polling days, nice little mid week break. This half term we had the bank holiday and then the mayoral elections the same week so was a lovely three day week grin

Runningupthathill82 Thu 19-May-16 09:55:12

Round here we use schools, churches, all sorts. Yes, community halls are used, but there aren't many of them!

In last month's election I voted at the local school, but they used the nursery annexe so the school opened as usual.

I honestly can't see it as a problem. Setting up booths in shopping centres would be expensive (shopping centres don't donate space for free!) and very tricky to run. Also, portacabins are expensive to hire. Elections cost a lot to run as it is (hence why byelections tend to be tagged on to local elections if possible). So hiring out commercial space would be unworkable without a rise in council tax.

lalalalyra Thu 19-May-16 09:57:00

A portacabin or bus wouldn't be any use becaus what about the polling staff? Where do they pee or eat their lunch when they can't leave the building after polls open?

Schools make the most sense because they are accessible to the most people and because most election days can be fitted in to the calendar in terms of inset days they are often the least disruptive.

MTPurse Thu 19-May-16 10:00:02

My ds's school is used as a polling station. As it has already been closed for one school day this year due to voting the HT has arranged a full school trip when it needs to be closed for the next lot, so the dc are still 'learning'.

prettybird Thu 19-May-16 10:14:17

Schools are also the only places which, by law, can't charge for use as polling stations.

Where I live, the council has made scheduled election days Inset Days, so that it doesn't reduce the number of "teaching days" - and even schools that weren't used as polling stations are closed.

Two disadvantages with that though: from a family perspective, we no longer get the extra long holiday weekends (the Inset days used to be tagged on to a bank holiday weekend) and b) all the Inset days had already been allocated when the Europe Referendum was announced.

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