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Mildmay Primary School

with a Resource Base for Deaf Children

“Growing, Caring and Learning Together”

Polling Day Information - 2nd May

POLLING DAY - 2nd MAY 2024:

On this date it will be necessary for us to close a significant proportion of the lower school and offer a ‘home learning’ alternative for affected children – those in Year 1 and Year 2.


Year 1 and 2 will be impacted because there is no way to accommodate them on site securely (ie without public access to their space or breaking fire safety regulations) while using the Lower School Hall as a polling venue – all other school spaces have been explored with electoral services and deemed unsuitable (due to size, facilities or access). Use of the Upper School Hall would necessitate the closure of Years 3-6, affecting a larger number of children and families and, in the case of Year 6, disrupt final preparations for their SATs.


We are fortunate that we were able to plan and book the Reception Year school trip to ‘Call of the Wild’ on this date to avoid closure of their classrooms too – full details of the schedule and arrangement for the Reception children will be sent out prior to this excursion.


Post-covid guidance requires that any school using ‘Home learning’ as an alternative to school closure, set a mandatory amount of 3 hours per day for children in Key Stage 1 (ie. Year 1 and 2). We will set appropriate tasks for the children to attempt that will support learning that has taken place in the classroom that week and will definitely include some reading and maths activities – however, we are also aware that parents may not be able to accommodate education supervision owing to their own commitments and therefore we will not be overly concerned if a child is unable to complete all of the work set. A ‘Home-Learning’ day will not impact your child’s attendance record.


As I am sure you can imagine, I am frustrated and concerned by the need for any partial closure of the school and have communicated regularly with the returning officer and electoral services over recent years to try and have the venue for local polling changed. However, the law (Representation of the People Act - 1983) gives the Returning Officer the legal right to use school rooms for the polling stations and for election counts. The law applies to all schools funded by public money including foundation schools and academies.









In December 2023, I submitted a response to the Chelmsford City Council “Polling District and Polling Places” consultation, petitioning the council to consider alternative venues for elections and was provided with the following review outcomes:


“[The] polling district review, including all responses received during the consultation, was considered by Chelmsford City Council’s Governance Committee on 17th January and they have determined that Mildmay Primary School should remain the allocated polling station for this area. This will be reviewed again in 2029/30 at the latest.”


I appreciate that this is far from ideal for all parents and carers, especially those needing to make special childcare arrangements for election dates, but we will always try to operate a ‘least- disruptive' approach when these events occur.


Thank you for your understanding of this matter and recognition that this is an issue that is outside of the school’s control.


Kind regards,

Dominic Mulholland                             


Bridge Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07663795. Registered Office: Community Building, Bridge Academy Trust, Brian Close, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 9DZ.

Tel: 01245 202 937