Schools should not be used as polling stations in the general election, to avoid disrupting nativity plays and Christmas concerts, says Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He has written to returning officers, saying there is funding available for councils to find alternative venues for places to vote on 12 December.

Mr Williamson says he wants to keep disruption "to an absolute minimum".

Head teachers have backed the calls to avoid using schools for voting.

The timing of a general election means it risks clashing with long-arranged plans for Christmas events in schools, such as carol concerts and nativity plays.

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