March 26, 2009

Behold The Glory Of The Nanny State

Namely, the records keeping of students might be in need of an upgrade.

“Megan would have loved going to the prom. She planned to go with a group of friends, she was really looking forward to it.”
The letter carried the signature of deputy head G White. Headteacher Ged Ward has now apologised for the ‘software error’. 
Mr Ward said: “Clearly that letter should not have gone out. I want to make my apology to Megan’s parents and can only apologise for the distress that it has caused.
“The letter was sent out to all year 11 parents regarding the school prom.
“We didn’t think to check it. With hindsight we would have checked all 150 of them. The problem is a software problem.”

But the family say they could never forgive the mistake.
Mr Gillan, 53, a civic attendant for Macclesfield Borough council, found Megan in her bedroom. He said: “To send a letter to her family when you are trying to come to terms with her death is just not right.”
Mr Ward said the school uses the software SIMS (School Information Management Systems) which is produced by Capita.

He said: “Unknown to the school, Megan’s details had remained in a different part of the computer system and were called up when the school did a mail merge letter to the parents of all Year 11 students. The letter called up details of each student’s attendance for the whole year to date and because Megan had been on roll in September, she was included.
“Capita has acknowledged to the school that there is a problem with this part of its software and is working to remedy it, because they realise that it could affect other schools.
“Capita has asked the school to convey their apologies to Mr and Mrs Gillan.”

Phil Neal, managing director of Capita Children’s Services, said: “What has happened is absolutely tragic and our thoughts are with Megan’s family. Capita Children’s Services supply a software system known as SIMS to Macclesfield High School.
"Among many other tasks, the software keeps track of pupils’ attendance at the school and the school is able to produce letters to parents based on this information.
“When a child is no longer attending a school, for whatever reason, the software will allow the school to continue to produce letters to their parents as occasionally it is necessary to do so.
"It appears that this is what has happened in this case which everyone involved deeply regrets.”

Thanks to Hermit Dave

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