A PROJECT in Keighley West ward to keep school children safe has been so successful it will be rolled out again at even more schools from September.

The Children’s Year of Safety is a joint initiative between Bradford Council and several primary schools in the ward.

Among the themes it has featured are online security, highway safety, school attendance, how to report suspect or concerning behaviour and making sure youngsters are safe in bed and off the streets at night time.

Councillor Adrian Farley, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for children and families, said the campaign aimed to make sure all children are protected from harm or exploitation.

He added: "It's been agreed the project will go into year two and I’m delighted to say several other schools are now getting involved across Keighley, as they are so impressed by the scheme."

Cllr Farley, who is one of the district councillors for Keighley West, said this year, the project had involved Our Lady of Victories (OLV) Primary School, Merlin Top Academy and Laycock Primary.

He said he had initially met with local head teachers to discuss how the initiative could run during its first year.

"We felt we couldn't do things in isolation, and would need to get the wider community on board," he added.

"We knew there wasn't much money around, and the project was run on a shoestring, with some funding from the schools and £1,000 via Keighley Area Co-ordinator's Office.

"For the next school year we've had significant interest expressed in the initiative from other Keighley schools beyond west ward.

"Year two of the project should again involve the same types of themes as it included this year, such as road and online safety.

"Another positive thing to come out of it, is that we've been able to have the police summer camp extended to Keighley.

"That had been going on in Bradford for 10 years but there'd been no provision in Keighley. We've been able to get it to come here for the first time, and it's being hosted at University Academy Keighley.

"It has all been very worthwhile, and for me one of the positives has been the partnership working we've been doing in an era when funds are so limited."

John Devlin, executive head of OLV and St Joseph's Catholic primary schools, who is also chairman of Keighley Schools Together, said: "We're delighted with the success of the year of safety in Braithwaite and Guard House.

"We really hope the messages we've been giving will make a difference to the lives of our children.

"It has been great that so many organisations have come together to focus on this important issue, and we want to thank everyone from the council, the wider community and the police.

"Going forward, it's looking like many more schools will be involved next year through the Keighley Schools Together forum.

"Hopefully, we want to get every school in Keighley giving out the same messages about safety for all our children."

Lesley Heathcote, principal of Merlin Top Academy, said: "Children who are in school are not only safe but stand a much better chance of achieving positive outcomes."