22/5 School Closed for Polling Day.(42 Posts)
I'm a bit peeved as the school is closing on this day. My son is at a state community school. I know it's not the schools fault so that's not where I'm going. But couldn't LA's use libraries, council offices, even space at leisure centres and only use the school premises in the evenings. This way thousands of children like mine can still go to school. It's not about child care as I am home on that day anyway - but I genuinely think that it is possible to find other premises. Does anyone know if there is any discussion on this outside of mumsnet, and if not is it worth opening up the debate?
I'm a teacher and I completely agree. Other buildings could and should be used.
Our local polling station is not in a school, and neither our primary nor secondary is used as one.
I's all local decisions by your council - is anyone making the point or campaigning locally? Have you written to your councillor?
isn't it just a nice odd day off for the kids. Mine used to love polling day.
If you are at home anyway I can't understand why you would have a problem with it.
It irritates me as DS' school is always used as a polling station. I found the police commissionerss election particularly irritating, as the turnout was so low.
The school generally has Inset days on the days that the school is closed for elections. The after school club usually runs full daycare on Inset days anyway. Next year will be a general election (the date of which will not be known very far in advance) and the governing body have agreed that the election date (when the school will have to close) will be an Inset day.
Our primary school used to be used as a polling station, the LA resisted changing it as they often have to pay to use alternatives. A few years back they moved our polling station to the village hall.
The point is that other other venues could be used. And it probably does impact on other parents, and that children don't miss a days school. Also we have every weekend, school holiday and inset day to spend time together so we don't also need random midweek day that I have no option to choose .
I would have thought that with more and more people using postal votes, the council could get away with smaller venues for polling eg parts of other buildings, like a meeting room at a library/job centre, rather than shutting a whole school so the hall could be used? Our old school was always shut, but used it as an INSET day which seemed fair enough although I do prefer our INSET days to fall on days when the rest of the world is at school! New school stays open, because the council uses the creche room in a nearby sports centre - this seems a better use of local resources.
OP why don't you propose a reasonable alternative to the elections officer at your local council?
In our town the civic buildings are in the centre. Polling stations must be in the ward they are covering. So the only other options for everyone in other wards away from our central ward are either church halls, or if the ward doesnt have a church hall a school.
Our local school is the only civic building in the ward, so there's no alternative. It's right opposite our house, though, so actually quicker to walk there than to walk to the post box.
For the town and parish council elections they tend to just use part of the building and so keep the school open.
I agree. It's a tradition that goes a long way back, but there are so many other possible premises. In our village, the library (yes, we still have one, open for half the week) is used. There are a couple of other community buildings which could serve the purpose, too, without having to close the school down, all of them in the centre of the village.
You can use just a school hall, if e layout means you can access it separately from the other school buildings.
The other requirements are that it is easily accessible from all parts of the ward, has full disabled access, has toilets and at least a tea point (if not full kitchen) for the poll staff.
Schools used as polling stations still have to provide the same number of teaching days IIRc.
I agree with you. DS2's primary school was always closed on polling day as the Junior Hall (only) was used as a Polling Station. This is despite it being next door to a church hall .
Why was the church hall not used? Yes, Polling Stations are open until 10pm and there would be a regular booking on a Thursday evening which would have had to be cancelled for that week. Why though, is the local amateur dramatics group (or whatever it was) deemed more important and less able to be cancelled than a day's schooling for 450 pupils?
"Schools used as polling stations still have to provide the same number of teaching days IIRc"
Could you give me a link to this info - as our school calendar for this year is set from the end of last academic year, and there hasn't been any changes to inset days to take Polling Day into account. Thanks
I think I read it on here but google has given me...
"If this cannot be achieved, the school will normally close for the day. In such cases, the governing body must take reasonable steps to make up the lost day, in order to fulfil its duty for the school to meet for 380 half-day sessions in a school year."
Polling days are known further in advance than inset days.
Umm I'm not sure about the polling stations have to be in the ward thing. I know there was one general election where "our" polling booth wasn't the one in the building opposite our front door, but up the road in the PRU.
Here the council try to not use schools as much as possible, and when it does if at all possible it just uses a separate part of the school and the rest remains open.
Yeah, actually I think you are right mummytime - my apologies - under special circumstances they can be outside the polling district.
p12 mentions schools.
There seems to be a statutory requirement to undertake a review of polling districts between Oct 13 and end Jan 15, so its a good time to lobby your local council. However the further people have to travel to vote the lower the turnout tends to be - so use your campaigning wisely - unintended consequences and all that.
I think rather than use my DCs primary school they use a hall in the Old people's home opposite, which is doubly sensible.
Our polling station is in a church. I suppose there 's no need to use a school as polling station.
Re: making up the days of schooling, my understanding is that other schools are given an "occasional day" in lieu, to balance the fact that polling station schools have that extra day. The only difference is, other schools can choose when to take it - many choose a Friday near to Christmas, which people tend to assume means that the teachers are off on a jolly Christmas shopping.
Not true in the slightest clam. Non polling schools do not get an extra day at all.
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