Children 'missing out on education' due to school being used as polling station warns councillor

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The school is due to act as a polling station in May

Children should not have to miss a day of education to allow elections to take place, a Blackpool councillor has warned.

Coun Julie Sloman, who represents Norbreck ward, is calling for a new polling station to be round to replace facilities at Norbreck Primary Academy.

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Norbreck Academy is used as a polling station (credit Google)Norbreck Academy is used as a polling station (credit Google)
Norbreck Academy is used as a polling station (credit Google) | Google

The school, on Norbreck Road, is the only one in Blackpool which has to close on polling day to enable residents to cast their vote. It is next due to be used as a polling station for the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday May 2.

Coun Sloman said she had been contacted by a number of parents concerned about their children missing  a day of school, as well as the additional costs of making childcare arrangement or having to take time off work.

She said: “Norbreck is the last school in the borough that has to close on polling day, although there are a couple of other schools that are used as polling stations but they don’t have to close. People attending the polling station are now diminishing in number due to an increased uptake in postal voting.  There are however a number of residents, amongst whom I number who like to go and vote, and of course there must be provision for this but it should not be at the cost of our children missing out on their education.”

Coun Sloman, who raised the issue at the full meeting of the council, said the council was trying to find an alternative location for the polling station but any venue must meet the requirements of the Electoral Commission.

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She said: “We all acknowledge every day of a child’s education is precious and we would all do what we can to ensure not a day is wasted or denied to our children.“Sadly however the 600 children at the academy have a day’s education snatched from them in the name of democracy as the school has to close to enable us to go to the polls.”

* Norbreck Academy choir has reached the finals of Barnardo’s national choir competition to be held in Birmingham on March 5 and will compete against finalists including schools from the private education sector and cathedral schools.

Coun Sloman said: “The choir has practised religiously, forgoing their break times and after school demonstrating the commitment of both the children and the staff to ensure an enriching programme of extra curricular activity.”

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