Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The outbreak of Covid-19 is an uncertain time for everyone, but schools are facing unprecedented disruption with exams cancelled and many teachers working with small "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.
International schools face double blow from Covid-19
Coronavirus could strike a double blow for schools in the international sector as they face dwindling pupil numbers and lower levels of recruitment. Colin Bell, chief executive of the Council of British International Schools (Cobis), said teachers could be wary of moving abroad during the pandemic, while pupils numbers overseas could also decline.
Teachers considering a move abroad might reconsider as they “may have vulnerable ageing parents or vulnerable friends or groups of people in their life - they might have second thoughts about travelling the other side of the world at this current time,” he told Tes.
He said schools might also face a reduced number of pupils from families based overseas because of the pandemic.
We're all teachers of all years now. Let's embrace it
I'm a key stage 2 teacher, but I have suddenly been faced with looking after three-year-olds during lockdown, writes Ginny Bootman, a SENCO and class teacher of Evolve MAT in Northamptonshire.
“Similar changes have happened for others and the experience has broadened our skillsets and made us braver as professionals.
“We have an opportunity now to consider how we teach the children in our care. Are they best taught in set age groups or should we allow more times for ages to mix?
“If one teacher is keen and has skill in art, while another has in PE, why not swap classes and allow the children to experience this enthusiasm?
“I’m not saying that this doesn't already happen. But let's be braver and try things that fill everyone with joy. Where there is joy and happiness there is true learning.”
Government £650m catch-up cash won't be weighted towards poor
The funding to be distributed to schools to be used to help pupils catch-up will be distributed equally to schools regardless of pupils' background, Tes has learned.
Unlike the separate £350 million pot to be spent on a tutoring scheme for the most disadvantaged pupils, the government has not specified how the remaining £650 million will be distributed, for example, whether schools in affluent areas will be handed the same amount as those in areas of high deprivation.
But Tes has learned that that the money is a per-pupil amount to be spread evenly across schools, regardless of the levels of disadvantage among their pupils
'We must not return to pre-Covid education'
It will be a shame if, in our anxiety to draw a line under lockdown, we fail to bring with us some of the positive things that came out of the crisis, writes Dr Kevin Stannard, director of innovation and learning at the Girls' Day School Trust.
Even if we get the chance, let’s resist the temptation to restore the educational ancien regime, he says.
“School closure catapulted us into a world of edtech, which we might otherwise have taken years, if not decades, to reach. Technology use will remain at much higher levels, keeping pupils in touch when they can’t be in school. Students will be connecting more frequently online.
“A teacher in one school could be working with pupils in many locations – in front of her, at home and in other schools. But more importantly, pupils could be working together, as collaborators and creators rather than as consumers.
Can modern lessons work in socially distant classrooms?
My students sit in a classroom that looks as if it is from the 1800s, writes Beccy Fox, head of school at Think International School in Hong Kong for Tes today.
Individual desks, a metre apart, all facing the front. All that is missing is a blackboard, an inkpot and a cane.
It means that meeting these needs within a more old-fashioned classroom layout is complex.
We must find creative and effective ways to make sure we continue to differentiate and encourage collaboration and discussion that enables teachers to encourage learning based around inquiry.
Ofsted to plough on with ITT reforms despite Covid crisis
Despite calls for ITT inspection reforms to be delayed for at least a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ofsted has decided to continue as planned.
The watchdog confirmed today that the new framework will be introduced from September 2020, with inspections starting in January 2021.
However, it said the timeframe for the inspection cycle “will be kept under regular review”, due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.Inspectors will also consider the “ambition” of curriculum plans in some cases, where the crisis has hampered providers’ ability to deliver them in full.
Read the full story here.
The message from the government is unequivocal: all pupils will return to school in September on a full-time basis.
But how will this be achieved? Easing the 2m social rule as Boris Johnson set out yesterday won't cut it, say teachers and heads, unless other social distancing and hygiene measures are also rolled back.
A lot of the details on how the "1m plus" rule will work in practice are yet to be released, but unions are hoping to extract more answers from the Department for Education in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Scottish schools are now expected to reopen full-time with no physical distancing in August, after initially preparing to return with a "blended" model of classroom teaching and at-home learning.
We'll continue to bring you all the latest information relating to schools and coronavirus, and you can catch up on yesterday's developments here.