Outages hit senior students working up to exams


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It has been 'lights out' for Stratford High School over the past week with the school experiencing continuing power outages due to a fault in the transformer located outside the school.

Just a week into the new school term and the school has lost power four times.

Principal Phil Keenan says he feels "incredibly frustrated" for the senior students in particular who are on the countdown to external examinations.

"This time of year is stressful enough for the senior students, so the constant disruptions to their important exam preparation is creating a lot of frustration among the students and staff."

Wood technology teacher Ian Anglesey says vital internal assessments are being disrupted by the power outages.

In his Year 11 wood technology class students are required to plan and build a table with a functioning draw. A task which is proving to be difficult when their powertools are reliant on stable electricity supply. The lack of power also means the dust extractor system doesn't work.

"The students have to complete the task in time for their work to be sent away for moderation and assessment and I feel for them as they are constantly losing time with the power outages," he says.

As well as physically building the tables, the students have to complete a written theory plan for their work, which requires use of the computers in the classroom.

Student Willem Ratu says he thinks he'll be "cutting it close" to getting his assessment completed.

"We can only do work in class time, we are not allowed to do anything at home so every time the power goes out we lose time that we can't make up again."

PowerCo network operations manager Phil Marsh says increased load on the transformer was the suspected cause of the power cuts there last week.

He says Powerco apologises for the outages, particularly the disruption to the school during the lead up to exams.

"Correcting problems with supply from a transformer near Stratford High School has been given priority by Powerco."

- Stratford Press

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