NEARLY 150 children who receive help for special educational needs have had their personal details published on a Wiltshire County Council website in the second security blunder to come to light in just two weeks.

Officials thought the information had been removed after the mistake first came to light in 2004.

They only discovered they were wrong recently when two parents contacted them separately to complain they had found their youngsters listed in a spreadsheet alongside a committee report on the site.

It gave each child’s name, date of birth, school, and a code identifying their special needs – for example, HI for hearing impairment.

County councillor for Harnham Brian Dalton described the error as “incompetence at the highest level”.

He said: “A senior head needs to roll, and not that of some junior office clerk.”

Of the 146 children listed on the website, it is not known how many come from the Salisbury area.

Councillors were alerted to the blunder in a briefing note from the children and education department, and were asked to contact special educational needs manager Phil Ward for further information.

It said: “While it is believed that there are no significant risks to the individuals involved (there were no addresses included) a contact number has been given for any individuals or families who have any specific concerns.” The spreadsheet has now been taken down from the website and officials said it would no longer show up if an internet search engine was used.

A council spokesman said: “The council has also checked its website to ensure there are no further spreadsheets containing this type of information. There are not.

“A letter is being sent to those that are affected to explain what has happened, setting out what action has been taken and to apologise for this mistake. The Information Commissioner has also been notified.”

The council’s corporate director for education and children’s services, Carolyn Godfrey, added: “We are confident all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure our website does not contain any other personal information.

“I would personally offer the reassurance that we will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The mistake has been uncovered just a week after the council was forced to apologise after a memory stick containing personal information on 1,385 Salisbury residents got lost after it was posted rather than sent securely to Salisbury District Council.