A POLICE probe has been launched after an email claiming a bomb would go off at a school was sent to hundreds of pupils.

The Echo understands the email was sent to four year groups at St Thomas More School, in Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff, on Saturday.

It appeared to claim a “terrorist group” would target the school by the end of the week.

Police arrested a boy under the age of 16 on Wednesday on suspicion of malicious communications in connection with the incident.

He has since been bailed.

Police have spent the week patrolling near the school and reassuring pupils.

Mum, Victoria Rachel, said her son Alex, who is in Year 7, was left distressed by the incident.

She said: “My son came back home crying from school and said an email had been spread around. I asked other mums if they had been affected too. They all said their children had received similar emails and he showed me. I was so confused.

“My son didn’t want to go to school and I had to reassure him that the police were there to investigate and he shouldn’t be worried.”

Ms Rachel added: “It’s really sad honestly, you don’t expect this to happen and I really wasn’t sure what to do. It left a lot of the younger years very scared to go into school.”

A police spokesman said: “We were notified on Saturday, May 4 of a number of people receiving an email implying there may be a bomb threat to a school in Westcliff.

“An investigation has been ongoing this week, with officers working closely with the school, patrolling the area and speaking with pupils about their concerns.

“On Wednesday May 8, a boy under the age of 16 was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications.

“He has since been bailed with conditions.”

The Rosary Trust, which runs the school, was contacted for comment.