Worthing children left waiting for school places

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HUNDREDS of Worthing parents faced a nervous wait to find out which secondary school their children will go to in September due to computer sofware problems.

Many had expected to be told by March 1 but were left on tenterhooks after West Sussex County Council failed to send out emails.

One parent said: “The news on the street is that West Sussex has messed up.

“It clearly stated that we would know by March 1. Those who applied online would be told electronically.

“Well, at Ferring, we were all left waiting. But the point is we didn’t even get an email to update us on this either.

“I rang the council and got what sounded like excuses.

“I really don’t believe that they couldn’t send any emails, even just to update us on the problem.”

Computer issues

A message on the council’s education website said: “Due to an IT issue, it has not been possible to update the online system with details about school offers.

“We are working hard to resolve the issue so the information will be available as soon as possible. In the meantime, please accept our apologises for any inconvenience caused.

“Offer letters have been issued and should be with you shortly.”

Council apology

A council spokesman said: “We do apologise that parents who had applied for a secondary school place online did not receive an email, as expected, due to IT problems we are actively trying to rectify with the software providers.

“We confirm that 9,000 school place offer letters were posted on March 1 to all West Sussex parents requesting a place in a secondary school for September 2011, including the 3,000 who were expecting to receive an email.

“We are aware that these letters have started to arrive and would expect all familes to have received their letter by Friday.

“A message has been placed on the West Sussex website advising parents of the IT issue, and we apologise again.”