Council forced to apologise for directing parents of special needs children to porn site

People looking for information on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services (SEND) website at a council found themselves looking at explicit pornographic photos instead.

Staff apologised over the error. Picture: PA

Surrey County Council apologised to anyone it says may have been offended or shocked by the “inappropriate content” and says it has taken steps to make sure it does not happen again. 


SCC stopped using its old domain name surreysendlo two years ago and sent out the replacement link for people to access, however the link is still featured on school complaints policies and on a council-hosted website for teenagers looking for careers advice. 


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According to SCC’s website procedures, a domain name should be held for two years before it is released, but it is believed that the old website domain was repurchased, and hosts a porn site with graphic content on the homepage.


A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “The website link for the SEND local offer was changed in 2017 – this change was communicated to all schools at that time and a forwarding link was put in place for anyone who accessed the old domain.


“However that old domain was still linked in several old documents on our website and in some of our communications. 


“When we were alerted on October 7 that the old domain now hosts inappropriate content, we worked to make sure that there are no references to the link on our own website and communications. 


“We have also been communicating with schools and partners to ensure they remove the old domain and that they are using the correct link on their websites.


“We are very sorry for any offence this may have caused and have apologised directly to the small number of people who inadvertently accessed this link and who may have been shocked by its content. 


“We have implemented several extra measures to our website procedures to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future, including removing a forwarding link halfway through the retention period to reveal any broken links before releasing a domain.”

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