HUNDREDS of schoolchildren could miss out on a "once in a lifetime" chance to watch the Olympic and Paralymic Games because staff have failed to register for a free ticket draw.
Thirty-four of Harrow's 50 eligible state primary and secondary schools, and 58 out of 94 in Brent, will participate in the official Ticketshare lottery of seats at various sports next summer and Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, is urging the remainder to join before entry closes on December 16.
Harrow's 68 per cent and Brent's 62 per cent take-up rates compare to fellow non-host boroughs Enfield's 100 per cent and Hillingdon's 76 per cent.
Mr Johnson said: The Get Set network will give Londons children a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the greatest show on earth in their home city, and embrace the experience of the Games first hand.
"This is my direct message to teachers, parents and children dont miss out.
"Kids, you should be pestering your teachers endlessly to make sure they are doing all they can to get you to the Games.
"Applying for the network is simple and quick, but there's just a week left to get online at London 2012.
"So let's have a final push to help us give the capitals kids the best chance to be at the heart of the action.
Children aged 10 to 18 at participating schools and colleges have a one-in-eight chance of winning a ticket to events such as track and field at the Olympic Stadium, swimming at the Aquatics Centre and cycling the Velodrome as well as football at Wembley Stadium, beach volleyball at Horseguards Parade and archery at Lord's Cricket Ground.
While allocation of the 125,000 free tickets to schools will be random, any successful school will have to decide itself how to fairly distribute their share to its children or students and organise transport to and from the venues concerned
Councillor David Perry (Labour), portfolio holder for community and cultural services on Harrow Council, said the figures provided by the Mayor's office - which suggested a much lower registration rate among Harrow's schools - were "misleading".
He explained: "There are 64 state schools in Harrow not 74 and out of the 64 schools 50 are eligible for tickets. This is because children need to be over 10 years old to apply. "Of the 50, were pleased to say that 34 have signed up, which is nearly 70 per cent."Harrow Council's School Improvement Partnership is working closely with all schools to try and ensure that the remaining 16 sign up."