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.
Morrisons’ 10% discount 'thankyou' for teachers
A supermarket chain is saying “thank you” to schools staff for their efforts during the pandemic by offering them a 10 per cent discount in stores from this Monday until after January 3, 2021.
The offer from Morrisons PLC is available to "anyone who works in a primary or secondary school, including teachers, teaching assistants, office staff, catering staff and janitors, provided they are employed directly by the school and they have an identification badge."
However the supermarket has been criticised for not making the offer available to supply teachers not employed directly by a school or to staff from private nurseries, colleges, 6th form colleges or universities.
Read more here
Staff in Scottish schools told to wear face coverings
Face coverings should be worn by adults in schools at all times when they cannot keep two metres away from other people, new Scottish government guidance states.
This will apply in primary and secondary schools, with some exceptions in the first two years of primary.
Staff and students in S4-6 classes – the last two years of secondary school – in the parts of Scotland currently most severely affected by Covid-19 have also been told that they should wear face coverings in classrooms.
Warning over cleaners and kitchen staff not self-isolating
Public service union Unison has warned that some school cleaners and kitchen staff may inadvertently be spreading the virus in schools because they're reluctant to self-isolate if they’re not being paid full sick pay.
The union is investigating the pay arrangements of private companies contracted to provide cleaning and catering in schools, and says it already knows of several large such firms, each with contracts in hundreds of schools, who do not provide full sick pay.
Meanwhile, some large MATs are now saying they’ll make sure their contractors “do the right thing, and that they’ll review contracts if they don't”, said Jon Richards, head of education at Unison.
Should Ofsted inspections come back in January?
Headteachers definitely don't think so.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of Schools and College Leaders, actually described the idea as “unthinkable” as Covid disruption continues. He is arguing that Ofsted inspections should now be deferred until September 2021.
The warning comes after a London primary had to close for a week after a visit from an Ofsted inspector who tested positive for Covid.
Read more here.
Back to school.....and uncertainty
As teachers contemplate the end of the half term break and a return to school next week, the only thing they can be sure of is that keeping schools open remains a top priority during this second wave of the Pandemic.
Even in France, where a strictly enforced second national lockdown is now underway, classrooms are remaining open for learning.
However, with increasing evidence of an unequal learning gap across England, showing that disadvantaged pupils are up to twice as likely to have missed more learning since lockdown, many are arguing that much more needs to be done to support this Covid generation of pupils than simply ensuring schools can stay open
Pressure to make more sweeping changes to the 2021 GCSE and A level exams process in particular reached a new high yesterday after the Welsh exams regulator recommended scrapping GCSE exams in favour of continuous assessment. The move prompted heads to say that exams taking place in England next summer was now 'in jepoardy.'
To catch-up with the rest of yesterday's developments impacting teachers, schools amid the ongoing pandemic click here.