A PSCSF member has shared an experience with us regarding an online school application which needs to be read to be believed. Anyone else had any similar experiences? If so, mail into firstname.lastname@example.org
The time had come for the very difficult decision that most parents dread – what school do I send my child too? A few school visits, and several tense parental discussions later we reach our decision
A letter drops onto the doormat informing me that I should make my decision and fill out the online application – ‘A faster more efficient way to apply’. Aha that’s the way for me so I sit at the laptop to complete my application.
As I press submit and receive the ‘Application Submitted’ email a sense of calm washes over me, the decision has been made, what’s done is done, now begins the wait until I receive the decision.
As the deadline approached my sense of calm begins to disappear, replaced by nagging doubts. What if I have made a mistake? Could I have selected the wrong tick box? What if I am ruining her life before it has even started?
Relax – I can log back in to check my application. Again I sit and log in using my username and password….NOT RECOGNISED…. try again, still no joy. Odd as I had written both down, I must have copied it down wrong, not to worry I shall click on the ‘Forgotten Password’ button and all will be well, nothing happens, try again, still no joy.
How strange, so I decide to give the council a call…and so begins the hair pulling.
I get through to a friendly voice in the right department, explain my frustrating situation and complain that the forgotten password button is out of action. Imagine my complete surprise when the friendly voice tells me that “no, the button wasn’t broken, it had never worked and was only ever added because it was felt that people would have expected it to be there”!!
Ok, deep breath, I ask the friendly voice how I would go about logging back in as despite me knowing that my password is correct I can’t seem to get back into my application.
The friendly voice sounds confused and explains that despite the web page telling me that I can log back in and change my application at any time before the deadline – in actual fact I can’t, the system wont allow it, apparently it was only ever added because it was felt that people would have expected it to be there”, sound familiar?
The panic grips deeper as I explain to the friendly voice that I would really really like to review my submitted application before it is too late.
To help speed up the process of finding my application form I explain that I have the application number from the ‘Application Submitted’ email that was sent.
‘That number means nothing to us I’m afraid’ the ever friendly voice tells me.
Apparently they send a number to reassure you that your application has been received but it does not correlate to any of their systems, again it appears to be a case that it was only ever added because it was felt that people would have expected it to be there!!
In fact if I want to review my form I will have to make an appointment go into the council offices for a face to face meeting.
Childcare arrangements made, off I go to the council offices, to wait in line, a long line for my turn and end up sat at a desk with a not so friendly face trawling through the names until I see mine, I wait for the print out and review it, panic over all is as it was, I say my thanks and leave shell-shocked and confused.
I return home and anxiously await the email that may or may not come to inform of our allocated school and consider the comments on that leaflet that came through my door a lifetime ago, ‘A faster more efficient way to apply’. Are you absolutely sure about that?