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.
MHRA confirm they do not back DfE schools test plan
The UK's medical regulator is advising schools against the Department for Education's plan to use rapid Covid tests to keep close contacts of people with the virus in school.
The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency says it has not authorised the use of serial Covid testing in schools in a way that would enable people to remain in school - in direct contradiction to DfE plans.
Read more here.
Inspectors plans to assess remote learning in schools
Inspectors are to assess the quality of remote learning in Scotland, with 5 per cent of schools to be sampled.
Details published today also show that inspectors plan to hold conversations – predominantly with school leaders – of up to 45 minutes, starting from Monday.
Pressure mounts on DfE over Covid test plan
Pressure on the Department for Education to justify its Covid testing plan in schools is mounting today over concerns that it will miss positive cases of the virus.
Unions have said the government must answer serious questions over Covid testing in schools after reports that a medical regulator has not approved its plan.
The Department for Education is expecting schools to use rapid lateral flow devices to test staff once a week and to carry out daily tests for seven days on any close contact of confirmed Covid cases rather than sending them home to self-isolate.
It was reported last night that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has told the government it had not authorised the daily use of the 30-minute tests in schools because of concerns that they give people false reassurance if they test negative.
And Tes revealed this morning that some local public health directors are advising schools against using the lateral flow tests to keep Covid contacts in school because of concerns about it missing cases.
Now the NAHT and NEU have called for the government to answer questions.
Celebs call for 'urgent' FSM review
Amid the ongoing free school meals debacle, top chefs and celebrities have joined forces to call for an urgent review of government policy.
And shadow education secretary Kate Green has also called for Gavin Williamson's resignation in light of the latest outcry.In a letter to Boris Johnson, backed by more than over 40 NGOs, charities and education leaders,
England and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, along with TV chefs Jamie Oliver, Tom Kerridge, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the actress Dame Emma Thompson, welcomed the "robustness" of the PM's response to the "inadequate" meal parcels being provided by some private companies.
However, the letter said that after a series of problems – including over vouchers and the holiday provision of meals – had arisen during the pandemic, it was the right time to "step back and review the policy in more depth".Read the full story here.
Public health directors advise schools against DfE Covid test plan
The Department for Education’s plan for mass testing of Covid in schools has been dealt a significant blow as it has emerged that local public health directors are advising schools not to follow a key part of it.
The Department for Education has said schools should give pupils and staff who have been in close contact with Covid cases a daily test for seven days and keep them in school if the results are negative instead of sending them home to self isolate.
Teachers may mark external exams for GCSE and A level student
Ofqual and the Department for Education are set to launch their consultation on how this year’s GCSE and A level candidates will be assessed today.
They are expected to say students will receive teacher-assessed grades but sit a task set externally by exam boards and marked by teachers.Questions yet to be decided are if the task would be compulsory for schools, and whether it will be standardised by boards – with all students in a subject sitting the same task – or if teachers could choose from a bank of questions.
And there will be exam board checks on the teacher assessment, it is understood, but nothing approaching full moderation.
Getting to grips with lockdown learning
As we end the second week of this lockdown term, teachers are working hard to settle their new routines and establish a new normal of learning for pupils and students.
They will be mindful of suggestions from the Prime Minister and others that the new routine may have to be relied upon for longer if infection levels and pressure on the NHS is not brought under enough control by half term.
And after details began to emerge last night, many will be hoping for a swift conclusion to the consultation and deliberations in government over how GCSEs and A levels will be graded following the cancellation of exams.
You can catch-up with yesterday's developments here.