Full List: These 37 Edinburgh schools will close on election day to be polling stations
Primary schools across the Capital will close when they are used as polling stations in the general election - but parents have called for alternative venues to be used instead.
Dozens of city primary schools will close their doors to pupils on election day as they are being used as polling stations.
Edinburgh City Council bosses have confirmed that 37 schools will be closed on Thursday 12 December over public safety concerns as there is no way of partitioning classrooms off from people coming in to vote. Pupils also lost a day of school when the schools were used for the European elections in May.
A total of 143 buildings are being used in the Capital as polling stations for the general election – including churches, hotels, scout halls, community centres and even a mobile library.
Morningside Primary School is one of the 37 set to bar pupils from lessons – but parents have called for alternative venues to be used in the future.
Neil Cuthbert, a parent at South Morningside Primary School, said: “Due to extensive refurbishment works at South Morningside Primary School right now, the main campus at Comiston Road is not available for after school clubs to use and even the winter fair – which always takes place at the school – has had to be moved.
“However the council can still close the school and use it as a polling place when it wants to.”
He added: “I have been complaining about use of the school for voting since 2014 and Edinburgh City Council won’t do anything. They have said in the past that teacher training days, when primary schools close anyway, will be aligned with planned elections to minimise disruption – but that doesn’t work when there are two unplanned elections held in one year.
“There is also the threat of two more referendums being held depending on the election results. Midlothian Council is trying to ensure that primary schools used for polling don’t close to pupils but Edinburgh City Council won’t commit to a similar policy.”
Funding was made available from the UK Government to councils to find alternative polling station venues to schools in order for lessons to continue. But the council said alternative suitable venues could not be found.
Andrew Kerr, returning officer for Edinburgh, said: “The polling places used in Edinburgh are decided by full council and are chosen to give all electors in the city the best opportunity to vote. Buildings must be well-located, easily accessible and to have rooms large enough to accommodate all the voters that could turnout. As is the case in other local authorities, polling places are reviewed, with the next review scheduled for January 2020.
“Amongst the 143 polling places across the city, a number of primary schools are used where they are the best and often the only option for a particular district. Polling arrangements are the same for every election – unless a particular venue is unavailable – but are reviewed every five years to make sure that the buildings chosen remain the best for the voters.”
Abbeyhill Primary School
Blackhall Primary School
Brunstane Primary School
Buckstone Primary School
Carrick Knowe Primary School
Craiglockhart Primary School
Cramond Primary School
Dalry Primary School
Echline Primary School
Fox Covert Primary School- FCPS and St Andrews Fox Covert (early years centre will be open)
Granton Primary School, New Annexe
Gylemuir Primary School
Hermitage Park Primary School
Hillwood Primary School
Holy Cross R.C. Primary School
James Gillespie’s Primary School
Leith Walk Primary School
Liberton Primary School
Longstone Primary School
Lorne Primary School
Murrayburn Primary School
Newcraighall Primary School
Parsons Green Nursery School
Pentland Primary School
Queensferry Primary School
Roseburn Primary School
Sighthill Primary School
South Morningside Primary School- Fairmilehead Church and Dean Bank sites will be open.
St Cuthberts R.C. Primary School
St. John Vianney R.C. Primary School
St. John’s R.C. Primary School
St. Mary’s (Leith) R.C. Primary School
Stenhouse Primary School
Tollcross Primary School
Trinity Primary School
Victoria Primary School
Dalmeny Parish Church Hall as a new polling station in Dalmeny is a new polling station for this election.