Linslade School had to close yesterday afternoon, after old cabling could “take no more”.
On Tuesday lunchtime the Mentmore Road middle school took to social media to report electrical issues, stating that phone lines were down and that parents should communicate with staff via text.
Headteacher, Kate Smith, made the difficult decision to close the school at 12.30pm, as a digger was already on site and engineers worked long into Tuesday evening to fix the problem.
Kate said: “The decision to close was linked to a problem with the power supply coming into school. The cabling was old and finally decided that, after various extensions to the buildings over the years and the addition of new electronic technology, it could take no more.
“We were aware of a problem on Monday evening with engineers working up until 11.30 p.m. to fix it. However, as yesterday progressed, it became clear that the problem was greater than previously thought and, in order to rectify it safely, we would need to be disconnected from the mains supply into the school.
“No power meant no gas supply, no hot water, no heating and – as the day progressed – no light; hence the decision to keep the children in school up until lunchtime.”
The school’s admin team rallied to the cause, many of them using their own mobiles to contact families when the school phone lines went down and a team of staff remained on site in order to take care of those children whose families were unable to collect them immediately.
Kate said: “Thank you to everyone who helped us to make an unwanted and unexpected situation manageable.
“Taking the decision to close the school at all is never something I do lightly – even more so when it means closure during the course of the school day, which I know poses as many challenges for families.
“Thanks go to Mrs Grimwood and her team who made sure every child who remained in school over lunchtime was fed sandwiches, fruit and cake.
“Thank you also to those children who made the most of an unexpected situation – and in true Linslade style.
“Finally, special thanks go to the engineers who came to our aid, working long into the evening, having promised they would not leave until everything was in good working order.”
Kate says that ironically, the closure occurred one year and two days after a gas leak in February 2016 and the “great Linslade Flood” of February 2014.
She added: “Now that March is with us, we hope that we can all get back into our normal routine.”
The school is open as usual today.