A senior councillor has apologised for a blunder in a letter to parents with special educational needs - before taking a swipe at rivals who pointed the error out.

Norfolk County Council mistakenly told parents of SEND children that if they did not choose their nearest school they would be expected to cover transport costs.

The letter, which was sent out to parents of children preparing to move schools next September, also incorrectly stated SEND families would be expected to cover fees for private or independent placements.

The blunder sparked opposition councillors to call for bosses to apologise for the error, stating it would have caused unnecessary stress to recipients.

Now, these calls have been heeded, after the council issued an apology for the mistake.

But in doing so, the council's cabinet member for children's services has taken aim at the fellow councillors who highlighted the mistake.

Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for children's services at County Hall, said: "I am sorry about this unfortunate but isolated mistake.

"We have apologised, promptly, to parents and provided the correct information to them.

"I am disappointed that some people focus on criticising our officers, instead of supporting us to provide the best service to children and parents of Norfolk."

Eastern Daily Press: Maxine WebbMaxine Webb

Maxine Webb, Labour's lead for special educational needs, said: "My focus in this case has been on ensuring families receive correct and lawful information at the point they have to decide on their child's next school.

"Choosing a new school that meets their child's needs is fraught with stress and anxiety and it is vital they are given correct information with which to make that change.

"As elected councillors, we would be failing in our responsibilities to families if we didn't ask for errors with potentially serious consequences to be put right and saying sorry is a polite and pretty standard expectation."