Council IT system goes berserk, packs off kids to the wrong schools

Admissions software piles pressure on anxious parents

Brit families waiting to find out if their kids have been accepted into their secondary school of choice were bamboozled on Thursday by a computer blunder.

Herefordshire Council's systems sent out a wedge of emails to parents offering their children places for the new school year – but the information was wrong.

It appears the software involved, or the people using it, accidentally fired off three confirmation emails to each family before any official decisions had been made by the council's staff. In a Facebook posting, because this 2016 after all, the county council admitted:

Due to a computer error, parents waiting for an offer at a local secondary school may have received an e-mail today offering a place.

Please note that this may not be accurate and has been sent in error whilst testing the school admissions system.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and ask that this e-mail is ignored; formal offers will be sent in March 2016.

Please spread the word!

In other words, the admissions system took it upon itself to offer kids school places before officials had made up their minds.

Parents with kids starting secondary school in September have been applying to the council for places, selecting the schools they'd prefer to send their offspring. It's a nail-biting time because no one wants their youngsters to end up in a failing comprehensive or somewhere miles and miles away from home.

"Will the council be issuing a letter of apology to all affected children, bearing in mind we communicated and celebrated the message sent by email with our daughter already today," asked Tamla on Facebook.

"Well, I received three emails accepting my daughter, so I'm not ignoring it – she's in and that is all there is to it," added Suzann.

"I've received thee emails today. This is appalling," complained Rich. And so on and so forth. If you've had a rough week, we hope it's not any worse than what a poor Herefordshire Council staffer or two are about to go through. ®

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