Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Criticisms over primary shortfall

Primary schoolchildren
Bristol City Council say they have learned from the report

Council leaders in Bristol have been criticised for failing to act on a predictable primary places shortfall.

Parents of about 300 children from the city had to wait in uncertainty after 8% of applicants were not given places.

A Cambridge Education report into the errors has concluded officials were too slow to react to a foreseeable shortfall in classroom spaces.

It concludes: "There was a critical mass that... led to what became termed a 'crisis'."

Predicted shortfall

The report, commissioned by the council, says a shortfall was predicted in September 2008.

But, it claims, officials did not take any action until the following month.

And what the council labelled "higher than expected" demand for reception year places was, in fact, very similar to previous years.

A council spokeswoman said work in response to many of the recommendations is already in progress and they are on track to offer every child a school reception place next year.

Council strategic director for Children, Young People and Skills, Annie Hudson said: "This report is helping us improve the service for future generations."

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