EA apologises for online primary school admissions crash

January 7, 2019

The Education Authority (EA) has apologised to parents applying for pre-school and primary school places via a new online admissions process launched last week, after the website crashed due to overwhelming demand. 

The EA moved to reassure worried parents that pre-school and primary places will not be allocated on a first come first served basis, following complaints from angry and frustrated parents who had been unable to submit forms online due to the technical problems which emerged after the applications process went live on Wednesday last (2nd January).

With thousands of parents attempting to submit online applications on Wednesday,  the website experienced difficulties coping, leaving many concerned that they may have missed out on places when they were unable to submit their application. 

South Down Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said she contacted the EA to relay the concerns of local parents struggling with the online admissions system and was assured that the glitches were due to the extremely high volume of applications.  She advised parents on Wednesday  to be patient with the system and to try again on another day as the applications were open until January 31st and were not on a “first come first served” basis.

Posting on the EA Facebook page, a spokesperson sought to allay the fears of parents and encouraged them to keep trying the website. 

“Places are not allocated on a first come first served basis and schools and play groups will not consider applications until after the closing date,” said the spokesperson.

“EA apologises for any inconvenience caused and reminds parents/guardians that the admissions process is open until January 31st.”

The Education Authority confirmed it had successfully received more than 4500 applications in the first number of hours of the new online system, adding that  “a small number of users have experienced some difficulties and EA is working to actively resolve these difficulties”.

The EA said  it had successfully received around 7000 applications via the new online process by mid-afternoon on Wednesday and advised that despite still experiencing “a high level of business”, applications continue to be successfully received.

Parents in need of any further help or advice  with their application are advised to contact the Admissions Helpdesk on 028 95 98 55 95 or email or