Council ‘cock-up’ leaves GCSE students with wrong railcards

Nailsea and Backwell Railway station

Nailsea and Backwell Railway station - Credit: Archant

Fears were raised a ‘calamitous’ mistake would leave GCSE students at a secondary school stranded on their first day of term.

Public transport passes issued by North Somerset Council to year 11 students at Backwell School living in Yatton have been sent to the wrong students.

The annual tickets feature the student's name and require a photo to be valid.

However, dozens of teenagers have received tickets in the post meant for other pupils.

The council's support services partner Agilisys had been tasked with distributing the passes.

Many parents took to social media to trade passes ahead of the school term starting.

A disgruntled parent, who wished to remain anonymous, described the error as 'calamitous'.

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He said: "I suspect what has happened is that someone has been given a list of names and a pile of tickets, and has dived headlong into a rather dull admin task and has not checked names on tickets relative to the address on the envelope."

The parent did admit the tiny size of the font the names were printed on passes dark grey background could make them 'easy to miss'.

He added: "Ignorance and no attention to detail is no excuse and with only days to go until what will be the most important school year of their lives, gross stupidity from some fool at the council is not what was required."

North Somerset Council has apologised for the issue and has said it is working closely with Agilisys to solve it.

A council spokesman said: "We can only apologise to the families affected by this mix up.

"It was the responsibility of a third party to send out these passes and we are looking at why it happened and what we can do to ensure a similar situation does not occur again."

Though the council did not confirm whether they believed there had been a breach of GDPR laws, they did state the incident had been reported to their information governance team.

Its integrated transport team was due to be at Yatton Railway Station for the first day of term to help affected passengers, although it is confident all replacement passes will be delivered in time.

A council spokesman said anybody continuing to experience difficulties can call 01934 634715.