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Tearful mother's heartache after school registration letter for son who has died

PUBLISHED: 17:25 28 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:28 29 September 2019

Kai Jno Baptiste. Pic: Lizzy Jones.

Kai Jno Baptiste. Pic: Lizzy Jones.

Lizzy Jones

A heartbroken mother collapsed in tears on her kitchen floor after council bosses sent her a letter asking her to register her son, who died more than three years ago, for school.

Lizzy Jones with her son Kai. Pic: Lizzy Jones.Lizzy Jones with her son Kai. Pic: Lizzy Jones.

Lizzy Jones is one of at least two bereaved parents sent letters by Norfolk County Council urging them to apply for school places for children who had died.

Miss Jones's son Kai was born 24 weeks prematurely in 2015 and weighed just 1lb 8oz.

He battled for six months, but, with chronic lung disease, died in April 2016.

But on Friday, Ms Jones, 28, was sent a letter saying she needed to apply for a place for Kai to start school in September next year.

Lizzy Jones, with her daughter Willow. Pic: Lizzy Jones.Lizzy Jones, with her daughter Willow. Pic: Lizzy Jones.

Miss Jones, from Rockland St Mary, said: "It was awful. I just fell down and couldn't stop crying. I felt like I hadn't felt like this since the day that Kai died.

"Kai starting school is one of those milestones that I'm never going to have with him."

One of Miss Jones's friends called the council to complain and, later in the day, she rang too. She was told data was pulled from NHS records, which were sometimes up to a year out of date.

She said: "Kai has been gone for three-and-a-half years, not a year.

The letter which was sent by Norfolk County Council's admissions manager to Lizzy Jones. Pic: Lizzy Jones.The letter which was sent by Norfolk County Council's admissions manager to Lizzy Jones. Pic: Lizzy Jones.

"The NHS did everything for Kai in his six months. It was the council I had to go to and register Kai's death, so how can they not have that information?"

Miss Jones, who has a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter called Willow, is angry a senior manager has not called to give a proper explanation or apology.

It is not clear how many bereaved parents have received letters, although the EDP is aware of another mother, whose daughter died three years ago, who got one.

Norfolk County Council apologised and said it was investigating how the "admin error" happened.

Sara Tough, director of children services at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Sara Tough, director of children services at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Sara Tough, director of children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: "I sincerely apologise to anyone who has received this letter in error. I understand how distressing this must be for families who have lost a loved one.

"The letters were sent due to an admin error and I will fully investigate how this happened and review our processes to make sure they are as effective as possible.

"I would urge anyone who has been affected to contact us so that we can ensure that this doesn't happen to them again."

Other bereaved parents have since come forward to say they have also received letters.

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