ANGRY parents have written to an academies trust saying they have “no confidence” in an aftercare service “that will see pupils spend more time walking than playing”.

A group of 63 parents of pupils at Bournes Green Infant School and Richmond Avenue Primary School in Shoebury have complained an “eleventh hour” change to a wraparound care service will see many parents having to look for alternative services.

However, the Southend East Community Academy Trust (SECAT) along with Energy Kidz, who are running the sessions, said that the “vast majority” of signatories had not registered or booked a place on the scheme.

The wraparound care service sees children looked after before and after school hours.

The parents said they were informed on August 27 of a change that would see children dropped of and collected at Thorpedene School and then walked to Bournes Green and Richmond Schools – both of which are half a mile away.

The petition said this will mean children spend more time walking to the venues than taking part in the activities provided.

In their letter to the trust, the parents said: “Energy Kidz said that the eleventh hour change is to ‘ensure the enjoyment of the children in all of our activities and games’ but a significant proportion of the sessions will now be spent walking to and from the schools.”

READ MORE: Rape victim said she 'was unrecognisable' and did not see her children until healed

The trust said the walking bus was put in place to safely take the children to and from Thorpedene School to make sure the scheme was viable due to the low numbers registering.

One parent said that a number of others had cancelled, or were not intending to enrol their child until October when they return to work.

A spokesman for the trust said: “The vast majority of signatories to the letter have not registered or booked in for a place with Energy Kidz and indeed some are not even parents of children at the schools.

“If the volume of people who have signed the letter had, or do, register for the provision this will be more than sufficient to enable the provision to operate at all three schools.

“We receive no funding for the provision of wraparound care so can not operate a viable provision via our partner Energy Kidz unless there are sufficient numbers to sustain it.”