Parents have slammed a school’s delay to inform them over an incident involving an ex-pupil attempting to enter the school grounds armed with a knife.

The 15-year-old boy was arrested near James Hornsby school in Leinster Road, Laindon, last Tuesday at 3.15pm.

James Carey, head teacher of the school, told The Echo last Wednesday the school’s staff members were able to stop the boy at his tracks before it escalated into a further incident. Parents, however, were frustrated that the school only told them about the incident a day after the incident occurred.

Sarah Louise Steel, 38, of Bellflower Mews, Basildon said: “I think it’s a disgrace that the school chose to wait until the next evening before informing parents. It’s not nice having kids attend the school and then finding out about the incident on Facebook.

“My kids thankfully were away from the school when this happened. But considering the school went on lock down they had a right to inform parents right away for those kids still behind.”

Another parent, Tracy Braybrook Bruley, 47, of Cathedral Drive, Basildon, said after the incident she fears for her daughter’s safety.

She said: “I got the text message the next day, and I was shocked really that it happened. I suppose in the school’s defence it was after school when it happened so they couldn’t really do a lot. I worry for my daughter when she goes to school now. I know it’s not unheard of now days but it’s still very alarming.”

Conservative councillor Andrew Barnes of the Laindon Park ward, said: “The school has done very well to keep the incident from escalating. I believe they chose to text message parents because it’s a quicker way to get the word out there.

“Ideally the school should inform parents in the next morning before parents take their children to school so they have time to take necessary precautions to ensure their children’s safety. When an incident like this happens the school needs to control the narrative and keep communication open.”

The Echo contacted James Hornsby School four times for a comment however they were unable to give a comment before the paper went to print.