Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing uncertainties for everyone.
Schools are facing unprecedented disruption, with classrooms currently 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:
North-South divide in tutoring take up
A Department for Education official said today that areas in the north of England had been “slower” to take up the National Tutoring Programme.
"We are seeing a slightly slower take-up in areas of the country where tutoring is seen as a less normal part of academic life, so it is slower to take up in the North essentially than in the South," Graham Archer, the DfE’s qualifications director told MPs.
"We are working closely with tutoring partners in those areas with schools and multi-academy trusts and local authorities in those areas, and using our regional teams to push hard the message of the benefits of tutoring to those pupils."
You can read more here
Angry International Baccalaureate students want clarity over grading
This year's IB candidates are calling for more transparency over its “dual” approach to grading this year.
Students want openness about exactly how historical data is being used to produce allocated grades under the non-exam route.
"Why would it be fair to be assessed based on historical data? Do former students matter to what your grade could be?" one student told Tes.
You can read more here.
Dates for return to Scottish schools are revealed
All primary school pupils in Scotland could be back in schools by the week beginning 15 March, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said today.
That date could also see the return of more senior secondary students for some of the school week.
The first minister also said that a full return of all other pupils to school could be permitted three weeks later, in the week beginning 5 April.
Many pupils have already returned to schools in Scotland this week.
Read the full story here.
DfE quizzed over hundred of thousands spent on ‘pollsters’
Officials from the Department for Education were quizzed this morning over spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on "pollsters" to evaluate learning loss during the pandemic.
In a meeting of the House of Commons' education select committee on school funding and finances, it was revealed that £190,000 had been spent on a contract for Ipsos Mori to evaluate catch-up funding, on top of the £140,000 assigned to education tech company Renaissance Learning to research learning loss.
"It's an awful lot of money to be spent on consultants, not on the front line," said Commons' education chair Robert Halfon.
Read more here.
Chief medical officer ‘categorically’ denies doubts over 8 March plan
The government’s chief medical officer has “categorically” denied claims that he had doubts over the so-called “big bang” approach to reopening schools.
Professor Chris Whitty was responding to a question at last night's Downing Street briefing, during which the prime minister set out his plans for all children to return to school from 8 March.
He also paid a "huge tribute to what teachers have done over the whole period", saying "they’ve kept schools going for children of key workers all the way through, including the absolutely worst of times, and they’ve done that because they believe so strongly in education, as all of us do".
Read the full story here.
Masks, testing and 'R' rate
There was a lot to digest in yesterday's announcement on the government's "road map" out of lockdown - with the prime minister confirming that all pupils would be back from 8 March.
Alongside this headline, we had a flurry of detail about what that return would look like, with masks in classrooms and three sets of on-site Covid tests now on the cards for secondary school students.
The plans gave rise to major concern from schools and teachers as to how feasible and safe it would be to get all pupils back in school that week. In particular, there are big questions looming over the logistics of the testing plans, which seem to rely on the idea that schools can test at least one student every five minutes throughout the day.
On the safety side, any fears won't have been allayed by SAGE minutes saying that opening schools could increase the "R" rate by up to 50 per cent. Or, a report placing teachers at the "upper end" of a scale comparing workers' likelihood of testing positive for Covid-19.
We'll bring you more news as it comes, and you can catch up on the rest of yesterday's updates here.