PUPILS at Commonweal School were sent home this morning as last night's blackout continued to affect its electricity supply.

Staff came to the school to find the heating and lighting in parts of the building out of order.

Students were sent home at 10am until further notice, The Adver understands.

In a statement on its website, the school said: "Due to last night's power failure in the Old Town area, a fault has developed in the school's electricity supply. As a result of key areas of the school including heating, catering and some of the safety systems are not working. This is likely to continue for some hours until the faults outside the school are resolved.

"Therefore, we have to close the school. Students who can make their own way home safely will be sent home at 10am. Other students will be supervised until arrangements can be made for their safe return.

"We would like to notify you that the Pencelli trip is still due to arrive at school this afternoon at the usual time. If The Mall is closed for work the coach will drop off on Springfield Road."

Some 8,000 homes across the town were plunged into darkness last night following a major power cut. The power to homes and businesses around Old Town, Eastcott and Wichelstowe went out at 5.10pm. Although it was returned to some houses within 10 minutes, many were left without power for several hours. By 7.30pm 7,500 homes had had power restored.