Do schools close on election day?

It's a question parents will need the answer to

Empty classroom
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do schools close on election day? Parents will need to make plans for the upcoming general election if schools will be shut - here's everything we know.

Now a general election date of July 4 has been set, political parties will be rolling out their campaigns in a bid to secure votes. For caregivers, what the result could mean for working parents will be paramount, and front-running parties have outlined their individual plans for this. Rishi Sunak's recent controversial opinions over the way schools approach teaching gender identity, and the increase in school fines, could also impact voter opinion of the current leaders.

Another key question parents need to know about the day the nation votes, is will schools be closed on election day? The answer is yes, there is a possibility your child's school could be closed for election day. Any state school building can be closed for use as a polling station, and your school should let you know if this is the case. If you don't hear anything, it's best to check with your individual school to make sure you haven't missed any communication about it. 

However, the question of school closure has different connotations for Scottish parents, as the election falls within the first week of their school summer holidays. Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), John Swinney, has branded the move to hold the election during this time "Disrespectful," adding that holding the vote on the first week of the holidays showed the impact on Scottish residents "Will not have been given a moment's thought" according a BBC report. 

"There is a possibility your child's school could be closed for election day. Any state school building can be closed for use as a polling station, and your school should let you know if this is the case."

For those wondering how the new government could affect education, Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has promised to make education a key "mission," according to Schools Week. This includes ending tax breaks for private schools and using some of this recouped money to recruit 6,500 more teachers. 

Labour have also pledged a "national excellence programme" for school improvement. This means a £210 million investment into continuing professional development for teachers, Ofsted reform, and free primary breakfast clubs and access to counsellors for all pupils.

The Liberal Democrats plan to extend the pupil premium and free school meals. They also want to overhaul exams, inspections and the curriculum, and put £390 million a year into tutoring. The Green Party have radical plans to extend early years education to the age of 6, and scrap SATs and league tables. They also want to replace Ofsted altogether, with a National Council of Educational Excellence. 

The Conservatives have been less clear about their plans, but it's thought Sunak will expand on his plans to replace current exams with a new "advanced British standard" qualification similar to the baccalaureate. He's also previously spoken about making studying English and maths to the age of 18 compulsory. 

The current government are set to introduce a ban on sex education for children under nine, while parents of those consistently late or absent from school could face prosecution and imprisonment. It's also been revealed parents want to do this one important thing for their child's education, but can't afford to.

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.