CULCHETH High School had to close today following a power cut at a local electricity sub-station.
Although power has since been re-connected in the area a decision had already been taken to close as it was not possible to welcome students safely into school under current circucmstances.
In a message on the school website headteacher Chris Hunt wrote: “Firstly, can I thank you for your patience and understanding with the situation that occurred this morning in Culcheth, which affected Culcheth High School.
“At approximately 6.50am, power was lost at Culcheth High School and surrounding areas.
“In-school staff heard a loud noise from the adjacent housing estate which transpired to be an issue with the local electricity substation supplying the school and surrounding areas.
As soon as we contacted the utility company they informed us that they were aware of the situation and gave us an estimated repair time of 10.40am.
As a state-of-the-art modern school building, nearly every element of the school’s infrastructure is dependent on electricity to operate. During a lengthy power cut, the school is without key safety systems, has no ventilation systems, door locking systems go in to lockdown and are unable to be opened, water cannot be pumped to toilet systems and the school has no computer or internet networks.
“A decision was made to inform parents/carers sooner rather than later that school could not safely welcome students into school under the current circumstances as we could not operate any elements of the school infrastructure, never mind operate normal lessons.
“Power was restored shortly after 9.00am, ahead of schedule, but was still unstable. School network systems and safety systems had to be re-started from safe mode due to the extended period without power. School became fully operational at 11.00am however, three CISCO network switches were damaged in the outage at a cost of £15,000.
“Given the logistics of school travel and that alternative care arrangements may already have been made, school staff will set work via Google Classroom as per our Remote Learning Principles for periods 3 to 5 for the rest of the day. Periods 1 & 2 would have been induction and COVID testing for students, today.
“School will be fully open for all students tomorrow and alternative arrangements have been made for tomorrow morning which includes continued induction activities and COVID testing for Year 9, Year 8 & Year 7. Details will be shared with students tomorrow morning.
“Once again, apologies for the inconvenience but factors beyond our control meant that we had to take swift action to ensure the safety of students and staff. Thank you for your
patience, support and understanding. We look forward to welcoming all students back to Culcheth High School tomorrow.”
Further updates will be available via the school website https://culchethhigh.org.uk/