A KEIGHLEY headteacher has said that Government suggestions about having children attend school in the summer holidays to catch up on learning would lead to "burned out teachers and upset parents".

Jon Skurr, principal at University Academy Keighley, said extending the school day or reducing summer holidays to allow students to catch up on learning "would not be conducive to schools being successful".

"The danger is that staff would be burned out," he said. "You only have a certain amount of resources and our staff are amongst them.

"I also don't see parents going for it. As much as we should do everything we can to improve our children's educational needs, I don't think Government will do it because they don't want to upset people."

The news comes as testing at the school on Greenhead Lane, Utley, was carried out successfully for the second day in a row.

"The testing has been fantastic," said Mr Skurr. "The students have been calm, secure and took to it well. To be fair, the process isn't pleasant. But taking the test gives that security to our young people."

To make the school environment even more secure, Mr Skurr said pupils will be wearing masks in the classroom until at least half term at Easter.

"At that time we will reassess the situation using the guidance we are given," said Mr Skurr. "Our staff have been wearing face shields since September to protect them from the virus because the biggest risk of transmission is between staff members. Our priority to keep them safe."

As the Keighley school gets through testing this week with the aim to have all pupils in school on Monday, schools across the country will be looking to help children "catch up" on their learning.

Ian Murch, president of the Bradford district branch of the National Education Union (NEU) said: "It will be "quite a complex job catching up. The gap will be widening between children who have been working well from home and those who have struggled with it.

"What we don't want though is for the Government to take away pupils' and teachers' summer holidays."

Mr Skurr said: "It can be a struggle for young people in areas of deprivation but we have a detailed catch up plan with a number of high quality interventions in place. But if you get your remote learning right, there shouldn't be too much of a -gap."

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “There are a number of discussions going on around helping children catch up on lost learning. Bradford Council, and schools, await guidance from Government on these plans and we will offer support as needed.”