A BRADFORD teaching union is advocating “some form” of re-introduction of Covid measures such as mask wearing with cases in some schools “out of control”.

Ian Murch, president of the Bradford branch of National Education Union, said: “We have been pressing the re-introduction of mitigating measures in some form.

“Secondary schools have easily been he highest driver of cases for some time now.

“We’re not forcing schools but giving them to opportunity to re-introduce measures such as mask wearing social distancing and bubbles in some degree.

“In some schools in Bradford there have been over a 100 cases in a two-week period. That tells me the situation of is out of control. The Office for National Statistics says that one child in 20 will have had Covid at one time, so I can’t imagine an easier environment for the virus to spread. 

“Calderdale Council has written to its schools to consider stronger measures. Bradford Council should do the same because inner city Bradford has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the country."

Mr Murch said that re-introducing measures such as mask wearing social distancing and bubbles “wouldn’t be difficult to re-introduce because they’ve been used to doing things over the last 18 months”.

“Right now, schools seem to be following Government guidance to seek advice on what to do when you get a certain number of cases in school. But it’s not strong guidance.”

Coun Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, said: “We have recently issued advice to schools that they should look more carefully at rules around social distancing, and encouraging parents to keep children off school when there are cases in the family, which is not in the Government guidance.

“The current rules around schools have encouraged a spread, and that is quite damaging and difficult.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Schools across Bradford district are going to great lengths to keep staff and pupils safe. They are keeping buildings well ventilated, cleaning regularly, distancing where possible and supporting the roll-out of vaccinations to 12-15-year-olds.

“We have not issued blanket recommendations to schools to reintroduce additional safety measures.

“Any additional measures are considered on an individual basis depending on the specific circumstances of the school.

“Where we see higher rates of transmission we work with that school to devise the best safety measures for their situation. Our recommendations have included not holding mass gatherings such as assemblies; staggering break and lunchtimes and may include wearing masks while moving around schools.

“Covid is very much still with us and we must all play our part to protect our families and local communities by getting the vaccination when it is offered and getting tested if we have symptoms.”

The council added that vaccination clinics are available for children age 12 to 15.

A spokesperson for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bradford district and Craven said: “Vaccination clinics for 12-15-year-olds are being held at Jacobs Well and Airedale Hospital as well as the other large-scale vaccination centres in West Yorkshire, and parents can book appointments for their children online using the NHS National Booking Service or by calling 119. 

“This provides an additional option for children in this age group to get their jab during half term, alongside the clinics being provided in schools. Clinics have already been booked in for all schools in Bradford and will be completed by mid-November.”

Walk-in household and family clinics for anyone aged 12 or over are also being held at St Luke’s Hospital on Monday, October 25, between 5pm to 8pm and Friday, October 29, between 4pm to 8pm.