Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing uncertainties for everyone.
Schools are facing unprecedented disruption with efforts to keep open and 'Covid-secure' and many teachers facing working with "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: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org and Mary-Louise.Clews@tes.com.
How to save Christmas
What’s a government to do to save Christmas in the middle of a pandemic, with rising infection rates, disastrous school attendance figures, an ongoing row around next year’s exams, and rising calls to cut the term short?
Geoff Barton, ASCL’s general secretary, has an idea: listen to the experts. If the government could allow heads, principals and CEOs some flexibility to decide what’s best for their school community, maybe it could be possible to keep children in education, see infection rates go down, and even save Christmas.
Read more here.
What will the new normal look like?
This question is going around many an education debate nowadays: should we really go back to normal when the pandemic is finally over, or should we take this occasion to revolutionise education (when Covid lets us, that is)?
But it’s not just exams or curricula that could look different in the post-Covid world: how about in-person parent-teacher nights? And will snow days ever come back?
And while some things may go, others may improve, including teachers finally getting the respect they deserve.
Read more here.
School children’s Covid infection rates on the rise
We are halfway through a lockdown, and most age groups show slightly lowering Covid infection rates. Only two age groups buck the trend, and it’s no good news for schools.
Estimated infection rates have been increasing for primary-aged pupils, and after a small half-term dip, rates for secondary-aged students have begun to increase again.
Read more here.
Williamson and Hancock tell public health chiefs not to support moving schools to rotas
The issue of schools staying fully open during the national lockdown is making headlines again today.
Tes has revealed that Gavin Williamson and Matt Hancock have told local public health directors to back the government's plans not to partially close schools or move them onto rotas, as Covid cases rise.
A letter from the secretaries of state for health and education says it expects local health officials to support the government in not moving to rotas in secondary schools or to increased online learning in colleges in their local areas during the national lockdown.
It says directors of public health need to be clear with the schools in their area about what "should and should not be proposed" in terms of their operations.
Teachers need decisions and data
Speculation increased yesterday over what shape GCSEs and A levels will take after headteacher leaders close to the DfE and Ofqual deliberations revealed that exam topics may be revealed in advance.
Whatever happens we need acknowledgement urgently that we need answers soon to avoid hurtling towards another exams disaster, Tes news editor William Stewart argued.
Meanwhile, teacher leaders urged the DfE to share weekly teacher Covid cases data with the profession to allay growing fears that the true numbers are being hidden to conceal the "true extent of transmission in schools."
You can catch up on all of the rest of yesterday's coronavirus-related schools news here.