Work has finally started on the last two schools to be rebuilt in the Bradford schools reorganisation.

Builders are now at work on new premises for Cullingworth Primary and St Philip's CE Primary in Girlington.

The delayed schemes are the final pieces of the jigsaw in the completion of the mammoth £186 million rebuilding programme.

Both new schools will be completed by May 2004, says Bovis Lend Lease, the company in charge of the scheme.

Although all the rebuilt schools should have been completed by September 2002, there are still ten unfinished.

Seven of these are due to be completed during the summer holidays.

Thousands of pupils face further disruption as they will lose teaching days at the end of term in July and re-start classes later in September, while their classrooms are finished.

Robert Holt, head of programme at Bovis Lend Lease, said the company still had a team of more than 30 people in the city, months after the huge contract was due for completion.

"Although these are the last few schemes, they are quite complicated, and Ilkley and Rhodesway in particular are massive moves," he said.

Councillor David Ward, executive member for education at Bradford Council, said it was regrettable that pupils were having to miss more school days.

"Every single missed day is a wasted day, but at least these ones are by arrangement with or by the request of the schools themselves," he added.

At Cullingworth, Council leader Margaret Eaton attended an official ground-breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of work with pupils.

"The education of our children remains our top priority, and the schools re-organisation programme is playing a key part in improving standards," she said. "The new-look school will provide better facilities for both pupils and staff so the children can learn in a more pleasant environment."