Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing uncertainties for everyone.
Schools are facing unprecedented disruption with efforts to keep open and 'Covid-secure' and many teachers facing working with "bubbles" of pupils or delivering remote lessons.
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, 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.
'Don't force schools to do track and trace over Christmas'
It is well-known that the track and tracing of Covid contacts is becoming a duty for heads and school leaders around the clock.
Now the DfE is being urged to give them a break over Christmas to ensure they can rest following "extraordinary stress" of this term.
The department has said that it will shortly produce guidance on the issue and recognised that school staff needed to "rest and recharge" during the Christmas break.Read the full story here.
Primaries plan for a Covid-safe Christmas
It's been an unusual year – to say the least – and it's fair to say this Christmas will be like no other.
But that's not stopped these primaries from planning a festive season packed with fun – albeit in a Covid-safe manner.From lip-sync battles to socially distanced grottos, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Read the full story here.
Three ways to boost remote behaviour during lessons
Keeping a class on-task and focused can be tough at the best of times - let alone when your young learners are at home surrounded by myriad distractions.
But after almost a year of teaching remotely, Gregory Adam, a primary teacher at Nord Anglia Chinese International School in Shanghai has some ideas that get results, including how to use visual guides to help.
Read more here.
‘Schools should be able to demand proof of pupil Covid test’
Concerns have been raised today that pupils could be bringing Covid back into school by returning prematurely.
The NASUWT wants schools to have more powers to turn away pupils who are sent home because of Covid-19 symptoms but then are sent back withing ten days
The teachers union says that it is increasingly concerned that this situation could put school staff and other pupils at risk of contracting Covid-19.
It is calling on the Department for Education to ensure schools can refuse to readmit a pupil who went off with Covid symptoms until either a ten day isolation period has passed or proof of a negative Coronavirus test can be provided.
‘Pay heads extra if they agree to carry out track and trace work over Christmas’
The NASUWT said it is concerned that some employers are telling heads and other leadership team staff that they will be needed to support the test track and trace system over the Christmas break.
The union said this will entail daily checking of emails and track and trace work connected to any positive cases at their school which emerge during the holidays. It has told its leadership members that if they agree to do this work then they should be paid additionally for every day they are on call.
All of the answers at once - well most anyway
Teachers were becoming increasingly anxious as the government missed its self-imposed end of November deadline to publish plans on how next year's exams will run following unprecedented disruption to learning caused by the pandemic. But then the plans came all at once in what felt like a bit of a rush, alongside pronouncements on Ofsted's return next year and a rejig on primary assessments.
Yesterday we learned that GCSE and A level exam grading would be more generous next year, and that, as predicted, students will be given access to exam material in advance and allowed to take subject relevant aids in with them when they sit the tests. Questions still remain, however, about how the government will cope with the issue that the chief regulator described as "one of the most intractable issues that the education system faces" - regional variation in lost learning due to differing Covid levels around the country.
We also learned that, after intense lobbying from heads and others, Ofsted will not now return to full inspections until the summer term, and that the DfE has changed it's mind and cancelled some primary assessments next year.
You can catch-up with all our coverage yesterday here.