Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing uncertainties for everyone.
Schools have faced unprecedented disruption, and are now gearing up reopen classrooms which have been closed to all but the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils since the start of term.
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:
Teachers hit out at budget which ‘scarcely mentions’ education
Education was “scarcely mentioned” in today’s budget despite the government’s insistence that it is a national priority, say heads.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We believe that education is a vital part of the national recovery and that the chancellor should have used this Budget to set out the government’s spending plan for catch-up support over the remainder of this Parliament.”
Kevin Courtney, joint-general secretary of the NEU teaching union, said it was "disappointing" that the government continues to ignore the funding pressures the education sector faces.
Read the story here.
Warning that pupils fear catch-up ‘overload'
Headteachers say pupils are worried about being burdened with catch-up work when they return to school fully from Monday.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, said there was “an absolute fear of what catch-up means” and that some pupils believe they will have to be in school on Saturday and throughout the summer holidays.
He said: “What’s really striking me right now, as much as anything else, is the fear of overload upon return.”
Read the story here.
MAT's £12m Covid bill shines light on pressures facing schools
New figures have shed light on the costs associated with Covid-19 that schools are facing.
Accounts for Oasis Community Learning shows it has extra cleaning costs of more than £1m and has decided to spend close to £10m providing iPads to ensure all of its pupils can learn remotely.
It also faces a bill of between £700,000 and £1m to provide protective equipment or making alterations to school buildings.
Most heads 'thinking of quitting amid Covid chaos'
More than half of headteachers are considering leaving their jobs, according to a new survey by the Association of School and College Leaders.
The school leaders’ union says the government’s “chaotic decision-making” and “lack of adequate support” during the pandemic are among reasons why there could be exodus of experienced staff “at exactly the time they are needed the most”.
It says increased workload under Covid, the public sector pay freeze and accountability measures are among other reasons why heads want to quit.
Welsh pupils could 'check in' before Easter return
Some secondary pupils in Wales could return to schools to “check in” with teachers before the Easter break, the country’s education minister has said.
Kirsty Williams said the return would allow years 7, 8 and 9 to meet their teachers, with a focus on “support for wellbeing” and to prepare for full return after Easter, but would not be a full return to face-to-face teaching.
The plan, subject to the Welsh government’s next three-week review, would be in addition to the return to school for older primary pupils and older learners taking exams, including years 11 and 13 from 15 March.
What does the future hold for Ofsted?
Until yesterday Ofsted apparently had a clear plan for its inspection programme – full graded visits to schools would resume next term.
But, late yesterday afternoon, those plans were removed from the inspectorate’s Covid guidance.
Instead the guidance now says Ofsted is “discussing the form and timing of inspections in the summer term and beyond with government and stakeholders”.
So there is a question mark hanging over future school inspections, not just for next term but for the next academic year as well.
Interestingly this change came on the day that the Association of School and College Leaders said that Ofsted should “keep on the margins” and let teachers get on with their “national mission” in the wake of the pandemic.
We'll have more on this when we get it.
You can catch up on the rest of yesterday’s coronavirus related schools news here.