Error left Northampton girl with no school place

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A four-year-old girl was left without a primary school place because of wrong instructions on a Northamptonshire County Council website.

Erin Tingley’s mum, Louise Morris, believed she had obeyed all the online guidelines when giving her preferred choices for the next school year.

The council website stated that electronic forms would be wiped if any changes were made to the document.

Taking this to mean she could safely double-check for mistakes, she re-read the application before submitting it.

But, to her horror she was recently informed her daughter had not been considered for any school at all.

Mrs Morris, a lecturer, from Boothville, said: “I felt absolutely awful. I was blaming myself because I felt like I had let my daughter down.

“But when I looked at it again, it clearly states in black and white that we only had to re-submit if we made changes and that didn’t apply to me.

“I’m not sure why there couldn’t have been an automatic email alerting me to the fact I had chosen zero places.

“To have been caught out like that is a horrible feeling.”

Mrs Morris feels it is important Erin goes to either Boothville Primary School or one near to it for convenience to her work and so Erin is not separated from her friends.

Erin’s childminder also picks up from the Boothville site, where she currently attends nursery,

The county council said Mrs Morris could appeal but it was believed to be unlikely that Erin will be assigned a school nearby for September. She may have a better chance of being allowed to switch schools next year, however.