Liverpool

New Brighton pupil's £445 bill sent to entire school in error

Mount Primary School, New Brighton Image copyright Google
Image caption The school has reported itself to the Information Commissioner's Office

A school which sent a £445 bill for after-school care to the parents of all its pupils by mistake has apologised.

Mount Primary School in New Brighton, Merseyside sent an email asking for it to be paid by 8 March or the pupil would lose their place at the club.

The school said copying in all the parents of its 300 pupils on Tuesday was an "administrative error".

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said some parents had accused the school of "shaming" the family.

However, the mother of the pupil who received the demand defended the school, saying the mistake had been "blown out of proportion" and she had "no complaints".

The woman, who asked not to be named, said the bill would be paid, adding "the care afforded to my child has been absolutely impeccable".

'Delete the email'

In the email, the school requested payment and said without it, the pupil's place at the Lighthouse Club - which offers breakfast and after-school sessions - would be forfeited.

It wrote: "Although we are sympathetic to individual circumstances and endeavour to try and help families, the club is self-funding and does not receive financial help from school.

"As a consequence, the club relies on prompt and regular payment from families who use the club's services.

"Delays with childcare voucher payments notwithstanding, all sessions should be paid in advance or in the same week they are taken."

The school realised the mistake on the same day and sent out a further email to parents informing them the correspondence amounted to a breach of the pupil's personal data.

Kate Yates, head teacher of Mount Primary School, said in a statement: "As soon as we realised what had happened, we contacted the parent of the pupil involved to explain and apologise for this error.

"We have also informed other parents of the breach and asked them to delete the email.

"The school has reported the breach to the Information Commissioner's Office under general data protection regulations and await their response."

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