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 schools 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com and Mary-Louise.Clews@tes.com.
Faster tests that will help keep schools open are imminent, says the PM
There was no mention of shooting at the moon this time around, but Boris Johnson today promised 'faster, cheaper' Covid tests would be rolled out across the country over the next few weeks.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said deployment of the tests would include to schools to test pupils and help keep them in education this winter.
Read the full story here.
Now can we have a half term circuit break?
Teachers are saying the case is now clear that we need to close secondary schools and FE colleges at least for two weeks to control the spread of coronavirus after the ONS reported a rise in cases among secondary school pupils.
Kevin Courtney, the National Education Union's joint general secretary said: “The latest infection survey report from the ONS shows infection rates rising sharply amongst secondary age pupils - much more sharply than in any section of the population apart from university students.
To read more click here.
New national data sees secondary school Covid jump
Some are wearing masks but cases among secondary school pupils have risen nine-fold in just one month, new ONS data has shown today.
On 8 October, an estimated 0.93 per cent of children in Years 7 to 11 tested positive for Covid-19, compared to 0.1 per cent on 8 September, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.
Read the full story here.
Pupils getting away with breaking mask rules
Yesterday we learned that hundreds more schools will have to make masks mandatory in their communal areas from Monday, as they move into tier two of the government's new Covid alert system.
But a Tes survey of around 10,000 headteachers, teachers and other school staff in England has revealed how difficult it can be to enforce mask-wearing.
Our poll shows the majority of teaching staff in schools where face masks have been mandatory say students have been getting away with not wearing them.Read the full story here.
Fears Covid catch-up millions were a 'mirage'
The government's catch-up tutoring programme has already been subject to some criticism from the sector – including earlier this month, when research showed it was unlikely to be enough on its own to remedy the negative impact that Covid-19 disruption will have on disadvantaged pupils' life chances.
Now questions have been raised over how the full £350 million will be spent, after Tes found £143 million of the cash has yet to be assigned.
Heads have said it "beggars belief" that a "big chunk" of the money has not yet been allocated, and warns that there is a "real danger" the benefit of the fund will be lost "the longer is takes to turn it into tangible support". Read the full story here.
Behind the mask
The Tes news team have been busy voyaging beyond the headline announcements this week to understand what teachers and schools need to know from the Government's evolving approach to managing the continuing pandemic.
Yesterday we finally started to get to the bottom of what the Prime Minister's announcement of a new Tier system of restrictions would mean for schools, revealing that hundreds of secondary schools in London, Essex and York will need to make mask wearing mandatory in communal areas from Monday.
Analysis by the team also uncovered that schools in deprived areas had seen half as many pupils attending than those in more advantaged areas.
Today we have exposed how a significant proportion of the cash the government said would be spent on providing catch-up tutoring this year has been thrown in doubt after the DfE refused to say if it would be allocated this year after all.
Catch-up with yesterday's developments here. Stay tuned to the blog for more details on the news teachers and schools need to know as it breaks throughout the day.