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Would you expect your children be sent home from school in this scenario?

(53 Posts)
powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 12:11:40

Named changed for obvious reasons.

Dc school had a power cut this morning. It was off for roughly around 40 minutes before a decision was made to send the children home. The children were in class at the time but I do understand why the decision was made. However the power issue was fixed quickly and the power came back on while the children were in class before the children were dismissed. They still dismissed them.

I understand that the power may have possibly gone off again although it was a specific issue and therefore should not have when fixed.

They sent the children home around half an hour before the text system from school worked.

One of the areas the children are going home to still has no power (they got the school area back on first) and therefore some children are going home to empty, dark, cold houses were they cannot heat or make food. Particularly those who might be on free school meals some of whom might not have easy eat none cookable food in the fridge at home.

They told those children who could not access homes to stay in school but I cannot imagine many of them did!

I cannot decide if IABU or not but honestly I think if the power came back on (and it is still on) then they should have been told they needed to stay.

None of the primaries have been dismissed from what I can gather and when this happened for a much longer period in primary they were not dismissed although I understand they do not move rooms as much in primary.

icanteven Fri 22-Jan-16 12:16:19

I would definitely have kept them in school. I MIGHT have called/texted parents and given the option to collect if they saw fit, but school should have remained open, especially as the power was BACK when they sent them home, and even more so given the lag with the school text message system.

What age are the children?

OldBeanbagz Fri 22-Jan-16 12:18:38

What age are the children? Are we talking primary or secondary school?

Personally i think if the power had come back on the school should have reversed it's decision to dismiss the children.

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Fri 22-Jan-16 12:20:02

how odd. I suppose once they had made the move to send them they had to send them.

powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 12:21:38

They have already messaged to say the school performance is on still tonight so they obviously are not expecting it to go off again today and it just feels like no one had the balls to turn around and reverse the decision.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Jan-16 12:21:57

I guess it kind of depends what the exact issue was? A school (unlike) home is workplace so will have various rules about heating and lighting etc, plus rules about fridges etc. It is also possible that the school may have temporarily been running on a back up source of power hence why it came on so quickly.

I'm leaning towards YABU as I'm pretty sure they would have been following some necessary procedure rather than opportunistically taking a day off.

RealHuman Fri 22-Jan-16 12:22:57

Why would they get sent home for a power cut anyway? If I'd been sent home every time there was a power cut at my school, or the water went off, or the boiler broke down, I'd have missed half of my primary schooling grin

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Fri 22-Jan-16 12:32:54

This time of day the issue would probably be no school dinners for lunch.

I had this in a primary school, luckily we were opposite a secondary and they supported us with lunch as we used their kitchens/ our gas applications for some bits. They wouldnt have been able to do the same for them because we were providing about 150 dinners, they over 1000. Also being less modern we had old fashioned boiling water hot food stands/ gas hobs. It takes all morning to get that many hot meals prepped by just a few people!

RealHuman Fri 22-Jan-16 12:39:17

<grumble> Kids of today, wanting fed at regular intervals. When I were a lass we'd we'd have chewed on an icicle and glad we were for it, too!

Goingtobeawesome Fri 22-Jan-16 12:40:58

My kids were kept at school and I was livid. No heating, no lighting, ice cream and bread for lunch. Snow outside. They should have kept the kids since the power was back on.

powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 12:42:13

Yeah suppose that must be the reason. It was off for 40 minutes around half ten-ish and lunch is not until 1.15 but still guessing it would have created an issue.

powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 12:43:50

grin RealHuman

BumpPower Fri 22-Jan-16 12:45:08

This may well be a fire alarm issue too. Depending on the size of school and style of system. If automatic doors and lifts are effected to it can become a big issue. Once you have informed parents (as well as the Lea, police etc) and let kids go calling everyone back again is near impossible. Understand why it's v frustrating for you though.

Fifi10 Fri 22-Jan-16 12:46:59

It might be to do with fire alarms? Or heating systems? Or (shudders) health and safety... something to do with lighting/ leaving building in an emergency situation.

I'm not excusing it, but trying to rack my brains as to why the school was closed for the rest of the day. The only time I got sent home from school was because a water main burst and so there was no water supply to the building and this has implications in a fire (sprinkler system)/ non-flushing toilets being used by so many people

swashbucklecheer Fri 22-Jan-16 12:48:36

The impact in the kitchen is probably one of the main reasons. You haven't said if it is primary or secondary. Sudden power interuptions can cause havoc with the computer systems which can take best part of the day to resolve. This is more of a problem in secondary level than primary.

tomatodizzy Fri 22-Jan-16 12:57:30

I think it is not the best action plan but I can see what others are saying about meals/fire etc. Just goes to show how much the modern world relies on power and cannot cope well in a crisis.

My kids school stays open during power cuts but then we are in South America in an area that is very rural and has extremely spectacular lightening storms. Power goes off at least once a month and it can sometimes be a few hours before the power is back on. Kids don't have lunch at school though, and there is no heating or air conditioning to worry about.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Fri 22-Jan-16 12:57:31

Kitchens is huge!

Say kitchen has no windows, no light=no prep. Imagine getting behind on prepping enough spuds for 1000 dinners, or blenders off before food is prepped for hour+ in oven, or even sandwich making in the dark? Our cooks (2 people do it all!) start about 9/ 9.30 each day on meals. Especially on friday we don't have random spare ingredients around like you would at home, not enough bread for everyone to have a picnic lunch.

Not knowing how long it would all be off also you may have not opened packs of food or removed from freezers as it would go unused and spoil if school was closing.

We had an old a power cut phones and computers went down, bit bloody difficult to send kids home in primary, hundreds of mobile calls from paper records (this was pre-texting system days)

wonderpants Fri 22-Jan-16 13:00:21

My understanding is that the local authority makes the decision to shut the school, and for the school to go back and get permission to reopen, may have taken longer and caused more confusion!

powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 13:04:01

Oh that's interesting wonderpants

Wibu to give mine lunch and send them flipping back grin

Potatoface2 Fri 22-Jan-16 13:10:14

surely if the power is off there will be no school lunch do they cook it....its also a health and safety issue...too much of that nowadays for stupid issues imo

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Jan-16 13:15:35

It's secondary
Attendance will probably be done on laptop. Some subjects like tech will be screwed with lack of power.
Many teachers require laptops to teach!
No lighting
No security camera
No tannoy
No food at lunch
Fire alarms?

powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 13:20:44

Hiya Wolfie. My issue was the power was fixed and on when they were sent home. Its obviously the lunch that was the issue.

HermioneJeanGranger Fri 22-Jan-16 13:21:49

I would guess they didn't want to piss parents off further after they'd had to leave work to collect, only to tell them the school was staying open so they didn't need to have bothered!

I think once they've made a decision to open/close, they have to stick to that, regardless of what happens afterwards. They've messed parents around once, it's not fair to mess them around again when it can be avoided.

Pooseyfrumpture Fri 22-Jan-16 13:22:44

Our school used to have some kind of water pumping system where without power there was no water in the toilets or sinks [boak]

powerfail Fri 22-Jan-16 13:28:49

Parents weren't informed by the text system until at least twenty minutes after the kids left as most secondary kids will just make their own. I suspect the rest who get picked up by parents as live further away are now walking about in town (school is in a town near shops, McDonalds etc) so doubt that is the reason.

I'm guessing its because they couldn't get food ready as mentioned above.

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