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Newspaper says sorry after publishing inaccurate council information

A weekly newspaper has apologised after publishing inaccurate information supplied to it by a local council.

The Peterborough Telegraph said sorry to a mother who was paid £5,000 in compensation by Peterborough City Council after two historical complaints regarding a child with special educational needs were upheld.

The Telegraph published information about the case supplied erroneously by the authority, whose interim service director of education Terry Reynolds himself later apologised for the inaccuracy.

But despite the council admitting the error, the Independent Press Standards Organisation is now investigating a complaint against the Telegraph from the unnamed woman over the issue.

Peterborough Town Hall

Peterborough Town Hall

In a piece on the newspaper’s website, Telegraph editor Mark Edwards said: “Obviously we published the city council’s information release in good faith. The error was not ours but we apologise for any distress it might have caused.”

In a letter to the paper, Mr Reynolds said: “These errors were caused by us providing incomplete information to the [Peterborough Telegraph’s] reporter and have occasioned further distress to our original complainant, for which we would like to apologise.”

The woman’s initial complaint against the council, which led to her being given compensation, involved the failure of a school and the city council to explain the consequences of an unnamed child being taught out of year group.

The child was then returned to his chronological year group, missing an academic year, but the authority then failed to ensure the school carried out the transition as per the child’s statement of special educational need.

The mother added: “The information released by the council was inaccurate and left me more distressed and frustrated and their second attempt to correct that information left me even more frustrated.

“Dealing with Peterborough City Council over a number of years to resolve these issues has been difficult and distressing.”

An IPSO spokeswoman said the case was still being investigated.


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  • September 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    IPSO will want to be reassured the paper took all reasonable steps to check its information. On the face of it, if it has a robust system in place and had no reason to suspect there was anything wrong with the information it had received from a normally reliable source, then it should be fine.

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  • September 8, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Didn’t take Trish long to set out her stall did it?

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