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.
Give all pupils laptops, say private schools
Leading private schools have called on the government to make sure all pupils are given laptops to ensure they do not miss out on learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Simon Hyde, general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), representing elite UK private schools, said Covid-19 had exacerbated the divide between the “most fortunate” and their disadvantaged peers, including those “seriously adversely affected by the pandemic, either because of access to remote teaching or access to a computer”.
"One of my aspirations is for a commitment in our society moving forward that all children must have some form of laptop device,” Dr Hyde said, adding this should be prioritised by the government.
‘It cannot be right’ to run Sats next year
Labour's former shadow schools minister, Margaret Greenwood, has joined major education unions in calling for the abolition of Sats next year.
Ms Greenwood, a former teacher who resigned from the shadow cabinet earlier this month, said “it cannot be right” to run Sats amid wide disparities in the level of disruption that schools and pupils have experienced since March.
She said: “Many children will have experienced the psychological trauma of bereavement and many too will be living in households that are struggling financially, with all the stress that that brings to everyone involved.
“For the government to even contemplate holding SATs in these circumstances shows a detachment from the realities of children's lives.”
Heads 'dismayed' over government stance on free meals
It is "perfectly obvious" that "many more children are at risk of holiday hunger" due to Covid – and that's why they need extra help over the half-term break, heads have said.
The school leaders' union ASCL is calling on the government to "swallow its pride, reverse course and guarantee free school meal provision during holiday periods throughout the Covid emergency".
General secretary Geoff Barton said it is "fantastic news" that businesses, charities and councils have stepped in to help, but this "should never have been necessary".Read the full story here.
9 ways to make the most of hotel quarantine – and stay sane
For international teachers, the idea of moving to a new job comes with the potential for having to spend two weeks in a hotel room.
While this may not be most people’s idea of fun, there are some ways to make it more bearable, as recently freed teacher Chris Barnes, head of Year 6 at Crescendo-HELP International School, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, outlines here.
Should teachers be worried about Covid-19 and eating disorders?
More people are seeking help for eating disorders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but what can teachers do about that?
Speaking to Tes, Dr Tara Porter, acting lead clinical psychologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London, explains that teachers have a crucial role to play in spotting problems and making sure that students get support early.
“[Teachers are] so important in young people’s lives. A teacher can really make a difference,” she says.
How cold is too cold for classrooms?
The government says school windows need to be kept open to ventilate classrooms, but with winter closing in, how cold can your classroom get before it starts causing problems unrelated to Covid-19?
Chris Parr looks at the legal requirements around classroom temperatures and what happens when the temperature in your room drops too low.
Four in ten pupils still not getting ‘full schooling’
New research out today shows that just under six in ten (59 per cent) of pupils were benefitting from full schooling last month.
The research, by the London School of Economics, found four in 10 pupils across the country were still not receiving the same number of teaching hours as they did before the pandemic hit.
It also found that during lockdown nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of private school pupils were benefitting from full days of teaching during lockdown, compared with just 38 per cent of pupils from state schools.
Read the story here.
Angry heads smell a rat
They received the email at ten to six on Friday evening. Was the timing of the Department for Education’s announcement it was slashing schools’ laptop allocations just as they broke up for half-term co-incidence or an entirely deliberate tactic to designed to minimise the fall-out?
Furious heads suspect the latter. And their anger has been inflamed by the fact that the announcement came in the same week that the much-criticised legal duty on remote learning came into force.
The prospect of large scale remote learning – and laptops – becoming essential again appears to be increasing. Over the weekend Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, warned that ministers may be forced to close schools to older children if coronavirus cases continue to increase at the current rate.
Meanwhile other scientists are arguing that facemasks for pupils in classrooms are necessary.
You can catch-up on last week’s coronavirus schools news here.