Aylesbury Vale parents left fuming as Bucks Council website crashes on results day

The website malfunction caused 'chaos'

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 1:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 2:09 pm

'Chaos' erupted last week when “thousands of parents” were unable to get their children’s Eleven Plus results after the council website ‘crashed’.

Bucks Council came under fire on Friday afternoon (October 15) after a technical fault prevented families across the county from finding out Secondary Transfer Test results on its website.

It is the third time in four years something has gone wrong with the 11-Plus process. In 2019, it was branded an “utter shambles” by angry parents when two errors were found in the questions being put to thousands of children, making them impossible to answer.

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the crash caused a four-hour delay for anxious pupils

The year before that in 2018, a technical blunder saw some pupils allocated more time to answer their exam questions than others.

Many took to social media on Friday to criticise the local authority for failing to prepare for something some said was 'predictable' and 'avoidable'.

Lots of families logged on at 3.30pm to find out how their children had done, only to be denied access.

Others also reported problems accessing the council’s contact page, getting ‘forbidden’ notifications. One person tweeted: “Epic fail.”

One parent with twins said she had “two stressed children”, as a result.

“No parents can get 11 plus results for their kids at the appointed time because the Bucks Council system has (entirely predictably) overloaded. Infuriating,” one parent tweeted.

“Well done @buckscouncil,” someone wrote. “You didn’t think the 11 plus results page would crash with thousands of parents logging in at 3.30pm exactly?

“What genius came up with that idea? And now we wait with a stressed child. Great.”

They added: “It was so predictable and is so infuriating.”

Bucks Council tweeted at the time: “We are aware of the technical issues on the Transfer Test results page and our digital team are working to resolve this as quickly as possible.

“Apologies for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”

“Not acceptable,” someone replied. “Have you considered the mental health implications? The children are stressed enough without this epic failure.”

“Shockingly bad planning and execution of a very simple task,” someone wrote.

Cabinet member for education and children’s services, Cllr Anita Cranmer said the council was “extremely sorry” about the delay, adding the results would be available ‘within 24 hours’.

Some did not accept Cllr Cranmer’s response: “Still unacceptable. These issues rarely just crop up. You overloaded the system and it crashed. Basics. Instruct headteachers to call parents and clear this up now.”

A long four hours after the fault, the system was up and running and the council directed waiting families to its website.

Cllr Cranmer said: “The secondary transfer test (11+) results website is now available and young people can access their results.

“We are deeply sorry for the delay and the resulting angst and frustration this caused and we are really grateful to everyone for their patience while we worked with third parties to resolve the technical issues.”