Norfolk County Council sends school admissions letters to grieving parents

The letters were erroneously sent Credit: David Jones/PA

A local council has apologised after it mistakenly sent letters to 41 grieving families inviting them to apply for a school place for their dead child.

Norfolk County Council’s error resulted in school admissions letters relating to 42 children who had died, being sent out. One of the letters concerned two children from the same family.

One of the forms read that a child who had died was “due to start school in a Reception class from September 2020 and it is now time for you to apply for a school place”.

One parent who received a letter, told the Eastern Daily Press when she read it she felt “like someone was twisting the knife into an already broken heart”.

Another said: “It was awful. I just fell down and couldn’t stop crying.”

Councillor Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “We are truly sorry for the pain and distress caused to the families who were mistakenly sent a schools admissions letter about their child who had sadly passed away.

“At the moment, our priority is contacting the families concerned so we can apologise to them directly.

“In terms of what happened, as soon as we found out the letters had been sent we launched an investigation through our internal audit department to ensure that such a mistake does not happen again.

“This should never have happened in the first place and we offer our most sincere apologies to all the families involved.”

It echoes a similar blunder by Manchester City Council last year, in which the authority apologised after 95 school admissions letters were reportedly sent to grieving families.