OVER Hall Community School in Winsford has issued a letter to parents warning them to ban their children from using a popular mobile phone app amid concerns of grooming.

Head teacher Claire Edgeley wrote a letter to parents expressing concerns over a children’s game app named ‘MovieStarPlanet’.

“We highly recommend that this app is deleted,” the letter reads.

“From further investigation about this children’s game it has been discovered that children are receiving messages from strangers asking inappropriate questions, or asking to receive inappropriate images.

“All technology has the options for parental control which can stop children from downloading apps without your knowledge.”

The Guardian contacted the makers of the app to ask about the concerns and was told that banning children from using the app may have a ‘detrimental effect’.

Vernon Jones, head of safety at MovieStarPlanet, said: “The safety and protection of all children who use the MovieStarPlanet online games, is of paramount concern to everyone employed at MovieStarPlanet.

“We employ numerous methods and resources to ensure the online community is a safe, creative and fun environment for children. This also includes protection from possible grooming activity.

“A dedicated team of moderators and support managers evaluate online content, implement safety measures and provide online support to parents and children using the site.

“At MovieStarPlanet, we constantly review our child safeguarding measures and do not hesitate to implement new technologies, when this is necessary.

“It is important that schools and parents work together with us in strengthening awareness about online child safeguarding issues. The indiscriminate banning of social networking sites can have the detrimental effect of forcing children to gain access to sites when they are away from schools and home, so they are not being monitored or advised by protective adults.”