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, 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: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org and Mary-Louise.Clews@tes.com.
Silence from Ofsted on parent email praise
Ofsted has received a flood of positive messages from parents since last week, when education secretary Gavin Williamson encouraged them to report their school if they were unhappy with remote learning.
By Monday night, the inspectorate had received 11,000 emails from parents – many of whom spoke positively about their children's schools – up from 5,000 on Friday.
But the watchdog is now refusing to say how many emails it has received from parents praising schools.
Read the full story here.
Pupils can't access lessons on DfE laptops
Yesterday education secretary Gavin Williamson encouraged teachers to conduct live online lessons while schools are closed during the lockdown.
But heads are now warning that issues with DfE laptops mean children “can neither hear nor see their remote lessons”.Reports on social media suggest that some devices supplied by the department have arrived with no sound driver installed, causing access issues for pupils learning from home.
One headteacher posted on Twitter: “Our DfE laptops arrived last week and we were very excited to give them out....today we discovered they have no sound driver and ch [sic] can neither hear or see their remote lessons. Super”.
Read the full story here
Union takes action over filming of online lessons
Scotland’s largest teaching union has written to a controversial parents’ group, saying calls for families to film virtual lessons in a bid to “monitor” online learning are causing teachers “alarm and distress” at a time of “unprecedented stress”.
The EIS is warning the UsForThem lobby group that if it records and shares footage of teachers delivering remote lessons, it will be leaving itself open to “the possibility of legal action”.
You can read more here.
Attendance “increased greatly” this lockdown despite infections spike
According to a snap poll carried out by the Chartered College of Teaching revealed that schools are far busier now than in the first lockdown.
The vast majority of teachers – 80 per cent – reported that attendance has “greatly increased” compared to April. And only less than 1 per cent said there are fewer pupils attending school.
This could put the effectiveness of schools closures at risk, the College’s CEO Dame Alison Peacock said.
Read more here.
No certainty on schools fully reopening after half term
Boris Johnson has cast doubt on whether schools will be able to fully reopen after the February half term.
The prime minister has told MPs that the lifting of restrictions on schools would depends on "a number of things".
Among the factors he mentioned were the success of the vaccination programme and a more ominous “not finding out something else about the disease that makes us recalculate”.
You can read more here.
Williamson makes no apology for testing times
The education secretary was unapologetic at the education select committee yesterday, despite being invited to say sorry to teachers for the latest last-minute u-turn decision to close schools, leaving teachers scrabbling to reorganise themselves for a half-term of remote learning.
Instead he said as always that his focus is on doing everything possible to keep schools open - which is why he is fighting 'tooth and nail' for teachers and school staff to be pushed to the front of the vaccine priority queue, he told MPs.
Meanwhile an exchange of letters between Ofqual's chief regulator Simon Lebus and Williamson was published, revealing Mr Lebus' warning that grades will be less reliable and valid as a result of exams not going ahead.
You can catch-up with more of yesterday's developments here.