COUNCILLORS have asked for regular, detailed reports on how Bradford's schools are coping with their post Covid reopening.

With pupils returning to school this week and early next week, members of Bradford Council's Children's Services Scrutiny Committee were given an update on the re-opening plans.

Marium Haque, Deputy Director for Education and Learning said there had been "anxiety and worry" about possible outbreaks when schools return. But she added: "Schools are very well versed with outbreaks and how to approach them due to illnesses like norovirus.

"We believe that children do learn best in schools, and schools should work with families to alleviate any of their concerns.

"I do believe schools have taken appropriate steps to return."

She told members that no schools had said they would be unable to open this month.

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Joyce Simpson, Church of England representative on the committee, said: "This is an exceedingly perilous moment for the education of our next generation of children."

Chair of the Committee Councillor Mike Gibbons (Cons, Ilkley) said: "There are challenging times ahead, and we thank schools in advance. I hope parents take the opportunity to educate their children on the best ways to stay safe, and to obey wishes of the school trying to protect them."

Councillor David Ward (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe) criticised the lack of information in the report, claiming the Committee had little to scrutinise.

He said: "This is the main political issue of the day, it is constantly the main item on the news, and we, as scrutiny members, have no idea from this report how many kids are going back this week and in what form.

Mrs Haque said the guidelines for schools re-opening had proved so fluid, she had not been able to produce a full up to date report.

She said details, including advice from the Government, had changed "several times" since her deadline of producing the report last week. She added: "There will probably be further changes as of the end of this meeting. I apologise if the report is not what you were expecting."

Members asked that they received much more detail on how schools were coping with re-opening at future meetings.

Tom Bright the teachers secondary school representative on the Committee said: "It is difficult having to prepare for what we don't know is going to happen.

"We hope children will be safe and hope staff will be safe, but we really don't know.

"We have to think about staff who are pregnant, are vulnerable or have conditions, and those who are over 60 and how they are going to be kept safe.

"As soon as staff have to go off sick we have to put a contingency plan in place, and that is a scary prospect for school leaders and children who are hoping for things to go back to normal."

Cllr Gibbons added: "There will be an awful lot of children who won't be able to understand what we think of as normal - they won't have experienced it.

"We hope some normality returns to schools so these children can understand what life was like before Covid 19."