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.
Keep classrooms ventilated, schools told
Teachers have already complained of "miserable" temperatures, numb fingers, and having to wear scarves and coats all day.
But that has not stopped the DfE from making clear that schools must be kept "well ventilated" to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The instruction has been added to the DfE's existing "system of controls" for schools – a set of protective measures they must take to prevent and respond to Covid-19 cases.
Read the full story here.
DfE update casts doubt on school Covid risk assessment
Until today, the DfE has stated in its guidance that schools are not deemed to be "high risk" workplaces. But this has now changed – and without a trace of what was said before.
The department previously stated in its guidance for schools that Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) advise that schools are not considered high-risk work environments, and it is "therefore appropriate for teachers and other school staff to return to their workplace setting".
However, following an update to the guidance today, this detail has vanished.
Read the full story here.
New legal order is ‘draconian’ school leaders say
School leaders unions have been very critical of the government’s decision to create a legal obligation on schools to provide a remote education.
The Association of School and College Leaders’ director of policy Julie McCulloch has described the move as ‘draconian and unnecessary’
And Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary of the NAHT has said: “Most people will see the introduction of this new legal responsibility to provide remote education precisely for what it is – a cynical attempt by government to look strong by acting tough. Schools do not need government to bring in laws for them to do the right thing.
Heads call for students in lockdown areas to have greater choice in 2021 GCSEs
Heads in areas of severe lockdown have called for students to have greater choice in their GCSE and A level papers next year, to mitigate the learning time they will have lost.
Mike Kilbride, principal of Birkenhead Sixth Form College and chair of the Wirral Association of Secondary Heads, said that adjustments needed to be made to ensure pupils in areas with high infection rates did not lose out.
“In the Liverpool city region, more students have tested positive. Even the very best online and virtual support will result in them having a diminished experience. To deny this is simply silly,” he said.
Teachers are sick and tired of DfE’s Covid response
Ministers have also been warned that teachers are sick and tired of "information leaks before midnight, document updates and vague press releases" about Covid-19 from the Department for Education.
Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh also asked how schools could be expected to be ready to provide a remote education from tomorrow when she claimed the DfE was not ready itself.
The MP for Mitcham and Morden was speaking in a Westminster debate about the government's decision to create a new legal duty for schools to provide a remote education to students who cannot attend because of Covid-19.
All the single (male) teachers/now put your hands up
Remember the start of lockdown, when in the rush to develop digital solutions to almost anything a bespoke dating service for teachers was launched?
Well, 2,000 subscriptions, 600 "matches" and 10 couples later, Edudate is still going strong. Its founder, history teacher Tom Rogers, shares with Tes what it takes to be successful on the platform.
You’ll learn why canoes are great spots to be having virtual dates from, and why it helps to be a PE teacher.
But there’s still a mystery unsolved: where are all the men?
Read more here.
'Why we created a blended learning coordinator role'
Covid means that blended learning is here to stay for a while yet – which is why this school has created a dedicated role for someone to oversee its delivery, from ensuring staff are using the right tools to ensuring unnecessary technology is being paid for.
Sighle O’Doherty, the new blended learning coordinator at St George's International School in Luxembourg, and Claire Nuttall, the headteacher at St George's International School in Luxembourg explain more.
I do, we do, you do…why hybrid learning could be here to stay
Put in as a temporary solution for the pandemic, the benefits of hybrid learning are quickly becoming apparent to some – so should we keep it?
Tom Duckling, the director of learning ,and Darren Wise, the director of IT at Aiglon College, Switzerland, discuss how they have seen hybrid learning take on a life of its own since being introduced at the start of term
More questions than answers on exams
The increasingly vexed issue of what contingency plans will look like for next summer’s GCSEs and A levels, is one of the most pressing issues facing schools at the moment.
But those hoping that Nick Gibb’s appearance before the Commons education select committee yesterday would provide the answers, were in for disappointment.
The schools minister was keeping options open and declined to rule out the use of school assessed grades or mocks. Mr Gibb did say grading would reflect learning lost due to coronavirus – but did not provide anymore details.
You can catch up on more of yesterday’s coronavirus related schools news here.