A councillor has praised the efforts by schools, parents, teachers and pupils following the wider extension of their opening on Monday.

Blackburn with Darwen's executive member for children, young people and education, Cllr Julie Gunn, said she was pleased that many more children had started to return to school and saw the move as minimising further disruption to the education of young people across the borough.

Cllr Gunn said: "I am sure that many of you will be following the debate about children going back to school, as a school governor also, I think that it is really important to minimise further disruption to the education of our young people and help get them back on track, as well as enabling parents to get back to work.

"Our education colleagues have been working closely with head teachers and leaders across the borough throughout the past few months to get to this point.

"We are so proud of the fantastic response and support that’s been given by all our schools and settings during this time."

On Monday, we visited two schools in East Lancashire as a way of providing reassurance to families that schools across the region were taking sensible and practical precautions to keep their children safe.

Cllr Gunn said she hoped this, along with work the schools have been doing, would go some way in helping parents - and children - to make difficult decisions when it comes to returning to the classroom.

She added: "Our schools and settings have remained open for our key workers and identified learners during lockdown.

"School staff have had a lot to consider and plan for during this time.

"I’d really like to thank both the staff and the children in the videos for taking part as in doing this, they are helping to reassure other school children too who may have had some worries about returning to school.

"I am pleased that the majority of our primary schools and early years settings have extended opening to the identified year groups and our secondary schools have been welcoming back pupils in years 10 and 12.

"It is encouraging to learn that cases of Covid-19 continue to fall and I hope it continues that way with us all playing our part to help stop the virus spreading further."