Use of schools as polling stations

During an election, your school may be asked to serve as a polling station. Learn about what the rules are here, how to decide whether to close your school, and what to do if school events are scheduled to happen on election day.

Last reviewed on 23 May 2024
School types: Maintained, Special, AcademySchool phases: AllRef: 7480
Contents
  1. You must comply with requests to use your school
  2. Deciding which room to use
  3. Deciding whether to close your school
  4. How to make arrangements for polling day
  5. If polling day clashes with school events

You must comply with requests to use your school

All state-funded schools can have their rooms used as polling stations free of charge.

You're required to comply with requests for use from the returning officer of an election.

The returning officer is only required to reimburse your school for:

  • Any damage done to the premises
  • Any costs incurred as a result of the use of the premises for polling (e.g. lighting and heating)

This is set out in rule 22(1) and 22(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and in planning and organisation guidance from the Electoral Commission.

Deciding which room to use

It's ultimately for the returning officer to decide which school room will be used on polling days.

This was explained to

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