BY the time schools re-open in September, 90 per cent of Bradford's children will have not set foot in a classroom for six months.

But despite the massive disruption in education, a Children's Services boss at Bradford Council has said it will not be feasible for children to repeat a school year.

The Council's Children's Services Scrutiny Committee met for the first time since lockdown during an online meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

During the three hour meeting, members discussed, among other issues, how the District's education system was coping with Covid 19.

Schools to keep children apart in year group ‘bubbles’ on full return in autumn

Schools across the country shut in March - remaining open only for children of key workers or vulnerable children.

The government asked schools to re-open on June 1 for children in certain year groups. However, at Wednesday's meeting Marium Haque, Deputy Director for Education and Learning at the Council, said just six schools and three nurseries had opened to more pupils on that date.

By June 25 110 schools had re-opened for selected year groups. As of the end of June there were still 24 schools that had yet to adopt the wider re-opening.

Mrs Haque said these schools had provided "appropriate reasons" for not re-opening. The committee was told that older schools, which often had small classrooms and narrow corridors, had a more difficult time preparing for social distancing than newer school buildings.

Other reasons for not re-opening included staff shortages, often due to shielding reasons, and "anxiety" in local communities to send children back to school, where they could pick up the virus and return it to the home.

Some schools that had re-opened had fewer pupils attending than they might expect.

The Government has said schools should re-open fully in September She was asked what proportion of pupils will have not set foot in a classroom between the beginning of lockdown and this date.

She said the figure was around 90 per cent.

Joyce Simpson, Church of England representative, said: "Do you think there is a case for just scrapping this last year and allowing children to remain at whatever level they are?"

She was told there were physically not enough facilities, like portable classrooms, that would allow pupils to repeat years and for schools to still take on new pupils.

Mrs Haque replied: "We had a brief discussion. We had to be mindful of space, which is at a premium at the best of times. The only way we could do this is to not move Year 6 to Year 7 and not offer a space to Reception aged children for September.

"That would create a long term problem, with no way to arrest the situation and bring things back."

It was also require a change to legislation - she added. Year 11 pupils, who legally ended schooling on June 26, would all have to agree to return to re-sit a year.