BRADFORD schools have been praised for their work to allow key workers to continue their vital roles, but there are still plans in place for “hubs” if required.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Councillor Imran Khan, expressed his gratitude to primary and secondary schools across the city.

He said: “I want to pay tribute to all the school staff across the Bradford District who are working in partnership with the council to provide childcare in schools to those people who really need it at this difficult time.

“Everyone has been working extraordinarily hard, going the extra mile to enable key workers to continue their vital roles and support the vulnerable in our communities.”

At the end of last week, there were only 27 schools, sixth forms or colleges fully closed from a list of 240 on Bradford Council's website.

That represents less than 12 per cent.

One of those schools - Canterbury Nursery School and Centre for Children, in Basil Street - has been forced to close until further notice for a deep clean, according to the council's website.

As the amount of positive cases of coranavirus continues to rise in the UK, so too do the chances of teaching staff, and even children, having to stay away from school.

This in turn could lead to any one of the remaining 213 open institutions closing, whether due to a lack of staff, or lower numbers of pupils.

A leading union rep shares this viewpoint outlining, while the system may be working now, that could all change in the coming weeks.

Ian Murch, of the National Education Union (NEU), said: "Obviously when you’re having to operate something completely new and risks are involved, you come across things that you need to raise.

"But I don’t think that, by and large, there has been.

"Things are working in the sense that there are enough staff at the moment for the number of children attending school.

"It won’t always be the case - I expect people will become ill, or feel ill, for other reasons.

"You’ve got to run it in a way that avoids the risk of spreading between people.

"I think you’ll find it will become more of a problem because everyone knows the number of people infected is rising.

"This is not in anyway being critical of the council or schools, I think that they’re all doing their best to remain sensible."

Drops in numbers of staff, and also students, could see many vulnerable pupils and children of key workers without a place to go.

But, Bradford Council has confirmed it has a plan in place, if that happens.

Cllr Khan said: "Currently, all but a handful of schools have been able to stay open.

"However, we have plans in place to operate hub schools should staffing levels in schools be impacted by the virus in the coming weeks."

Those schools which are closed have already been sending their assigned pupils to other institutions.

A number of possible "hubs" have emerged, with 12 schools in total taking on students from other institutions.

Two of those - Green Lane Primary and Oakworth Primary - already have children from three different schools attending, as well as their own.

Mr Murch said: "Some schools have had a very low uptake and it doesn’t seem sensible to put staff in a place of risk in that case.

"Some schools have already merged provisions with others and that’s quite logical."