CONTROVERSIAL plans to change closing times at three Bournemouth schools have been met with fury from parents.

Consultation is currently under way to change the end of lessons at Avonwood Primary by half-an-hour from 3.30pm to 3pm.

Pupils at neighbouring Avonbourne and Harewood secondary schools will finish later at 3.30pm if the proposals go ahead.

Parents at Avonwood claim the changes would leave them unable to pick up their children on time and would force them into paying for after school clubs.

They have joined forces to campaign against the move and claim many will be forced to withdraw their children from the school if the proposals go ahead.

One told the Daily Echo: “Many of the parents chose this school specifically because of the 3.30pm finish time. A lot of us have children at two or more different schools and we can’t be in two places at once.

“It could also have a bad effect on working parents because they have planned their working day around the school finishing time.”

Another parent said: “The after school club here costs £8 per day and I will have to pay that just for half-an-hour. My daughter is only six and I don’t want her to be at school until 6pm.”

Closing times at the schools, all in Harewood Avenue, are staggered due to concerns about the high volume of traffic in the area and parking problems.

The schools are all part of the Avonbourne Trust and Chief Executive Debbie Godfrey-Phaure has already held consultation meetings with concerned parents.

A Trust spokesman said a 3pm finish would bring Avonwood in line with other primary schools and added: “No final decision has been taken. We are evaluating the responses we have received and are having discussions with the local bus company and council to get their views.

“We appreciate that any proposed change can be concerning, which is why we have consulted parents before making any decision. Their views are being listened to.

“When Avonwood first opened it was part of the planning condition that it finished at a different time from our two colleges.”

Any changes would take effect in September.