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Polling Day

June 8, 2017

Dear Parents/Carers

General Election 8th June 2017

The forthcoming election on 8th June 2017 is a vital part of our democratic process, one in which we hope the Year 13 students, who are eligible to vote, will participate for the first time and one in which we would encourage all our students to take an active interest.

As many of you will be aware, All Saints Academy is used as a polling station for such occasions. Whilst we appreciate that it is important that such venues are familiar and accessible to all, we have very serious reservations as to whether schools should ever be used for such purposes because of the inevitable disruption to learning. Where Lower/Primary schools are used as polling stations, it invariably means them closing for the day because significant spaces, like school halls, are used for the whole period.

At All Saints, we have always tried to accommodate the democratic process alongside the learning process, but in light of recent events in Manchester, our paramount concern has to be the safety and security of the students and staff in our care. As you are aware, our site is extremely secure, with no access to the public during school hours, which enables students to move around freely. With public access required for 15 hours on polling day, we are concerned about the limited security arrangements that it is possible to put in place to separate students from public.

With that in mind, we have decided to close the Academy to all students, apart from those engaged in public examinations, on Thursday 8th June. This is not an easy decision to make because it not only disrupts the learning of students, but it also causes inconvenience to you as parents and carers. However, we have needed to arrive at a decision as quickly as possible to give you adequate notice for you to make alternative arrangements.

Those students engaged in public examinations will access the building through a secure entrance adjacent to the Sports Hall, and that area will be fully isolated from the rest of the building for the whole of the time they are in the building. At the end of the examinations, students will be escorted off the site by members of staff

We very much regret having to take such a step, but we feel it is the right one in an environment of heightened tension and security. As ever, thank you for your support and understanding.

Your sincerely

Liz Furber                                                            David Fraser Principal                                                              Chair of Governors

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Date:
June 8, 2017
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