Schools have faced unprecedented disruption over the past year, and in recent weeks have been reopening classrooms that had been closed to all but the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.
Here, we aim to help teachers in the UK and in international schools by gathering together all the relevant stories in one place and keeping you updated with the latest news and announcements as and when they happen.
And, as ever, we also want to hear from you. What is different in your school and in your working life because of the virus? If you have stories you want to share or information you think should be circulated, then contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and Mary-Louise.Clews@tes.com
'Blind' Williamson 'like King Canute' in Covid response
Gavin Williamson was "blind to the gravity and danger of the situation" with Covid cases at the beginning of this year, the NEU's joint-general secretaries said today.
And, "like King Canute", he "stood on the shores of ignorance" telling teachers that it was safe to return, Mary Bousted added.
The teachers' leaders argued that if the government had instead adopted the NEU's education recovery plan, transmission rates in schools would have been cut, and pupils would have spent less time away from the classroom.
Read the full story here.
GCSEs 2021: Old questions ‘may not be unfair’
One of England's main school exam boards has said that using questions students have answered before to determine GCSE and A level grades this year will not "necessarily" give them an advantage.
In response to these concerns about this year's GCSE and A level grading researchers from the OCR board looked into whether predictable questions were advantageous for students, and they found that "it does not seem to radically affect performance"
An OCR spokesperson told Tes: "Our research around this area seems to show that advanced sight of questions does not necessarily create an unfair advantage."
Read more here.
‘No justice’ for ‘ pandemic hero’ teachers in pay cut
Teachers' leaders have said there is "no justice" for the profession because of a proposed "pause" on pay rises coming despite their efforts during the pandemic.
Speaking at the NEU teaching union's annual conference today, joint general secretary Mary Bousted said teachers had "gone beyond the extra mile" and described them as "heroes"."
There is no justice in these pay cuts," she said. "We know the truth when we see it and the truth is that this government was fulsome in its praise of the public sector – for nurses and doctors, for teachers and leaders, when it was desperate."
Read more here.
Academies reveal how pupils hit by the pandemic will miss out due to DfE 'stealth cut'
New research has laid bare the potential impact of a controversial policy shift affecting the country's most disadvantaged pupils.
Figures provided by Ark Schools, Oasis Community Learning and David Ross Education Trust (DRET) show that, between them, the trusts had upwards of 1,500 additional pupils registered for free school meals (FSM) – and therefore eligible for the pupil premium – in January 2021, compared with October 2020.
But due to a change in the way the government is allocating pupil premium money from this month, they will receive no extra funding for these students until next year.
Kate Green, Labour shadow education secretary, has described the policy shift as a "stealth cut", arguing that the Conservative Party has "neglected children through this pandemic".
Read the full story here.
The impact of Covid
As the country prepares to head back to hairdressers and pub gardens next week, the cautious optimism that the worst of the pandemic is behind us continues and analysis of its impact is gathering pace.
Yesterday at the NEU annual conference, the president of the largest teaching union in England branded the education secretary a "wooden-headed....limp and spineless...puppet" partly due to decisions he had made on schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
On a more positive note, we learned that the number of teacher training applicants rose by 17 per cent in 2020 owing to a surge in interest in public sector roles during the pandemic.
You can catch-up with the rest of yesterday's Covid related news impacting teachers and schools here.