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.
Life as a floating head: teaching while self-isolating
It sounded simple: send in cover, explain where all the books are and fire off a Teams invitation to the colleague covering my lesson, writes Sarah Ledger.
After all, I wasn’t unwell. Just waiting for a Covid test result to come in. What could be more straightforward than teaching from home?
Let’s face it, we’ve been getting to grips with Teams since March. These days, we’re working-from-home ready: there’s a note on the front door advising Amazon personnel to keep down the doorbell ringing. And the mics are off. Are they? Yes. Definitely? Er…they are now.
Rather like a séance in reverse, I couldn’t see the class, but they could see me. What I could see was the medium – my cover-teacher colleague – hovering anxiously in the foreground. And behind him – projected on the board – my own slightly out-of-sync face.
Boom in remote learning lessons for new teachers
It's no secret that the Covid crisis has reignited interest in the teacher training sector – with a 35 per cent year-on-year increase in applications between March and August.
But the extent to which training itself has been influenced by the pandemic is only just beginning to emerge.
A new survey from the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) has shed light on how Covid-19 has driven an "upsurge" in the inclusion of remote learning in teacher training courses.
The news comes on the day that a legal obligation on schools to provide immediate access to remote education for pupils if they are absent due to Covid-19 comes into force.
Schools may have a ‘limited role’ in spreading Covid
Studies in Germany and Norway have shown that reopening schools after the summer break didn’t increase the number of Covid-19 infections.
One German study study even found that infections slowed down after schools reopened - but there’s a catch: “freely available rapid testing” for teachers and students seemed to be one of the reasons for those results. And some sector leaders pointed out the conditions are different in England.
Read more here.
Are schools now officially 'high risk'?
Changes to official coronavirus guidance for schools made by the Department for Education yesterday afternoon has raised a potentially concerning question for those working in them.
The guidance for schools had previously stated that Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care 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". But this detail has now gone.
The DfE has yet to respond to request for an explanation. We’ll let you know as soon as we get one.
You can catch-up on the rest of yesterday’s coronavirus related schools news here.