A mum has branded the school places system a “complete mess” after it could not find her street and she claims she was told to apply for the wrong schools.

Charlene Gower, 33, rang Essex County Council after the website did not recognise her address in Lenz Close, Colchester, which the family of three moved into in June last year.

She says was told to apply for four schools for her three-year-old Isabella, and was given her last choice, Monkwick Infants School, which would be a 2.7 mile journey.

Mrs Gower was then told the authority would not pay towards her transport costs, despite it meeting the two mile threshold, as it was not her catchment school, Kendall Primary in Recreation Road- which she had been declined as it was oversubscribed.

But it was not until she successfully fought the transport decision that she was told there were other closer schools.

The mum-of-one said: “The whole system seems to be a complete mess."

The county council has insisted the application was dealt with correctly and said there is no evidence any wrong information was provided.

See today's Gazette for the full story.