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.
Cut content for GCSEs and A levels, say private schools
A leading figure in the private school sector has said exam boards should cut down their syllabus content in response to reduced teaching time from the coronavirus pandemic.
Simon Hyde, the general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, a body of elite UK private schools, said: ""If we want to de-risk examinations…one of the things exam boards could do is to look for the core of their various specifications and their various subjects."
He said boards might need to adjust content for the fact that pupils had had less teaching time in comparison to the year above them - who were affected by school closures during revision time.
Stretched funds leave schools ‘walking on tightrope’
Back in June, the government a £1 billion package to help to tackle the impact of teaching time lost owing to the coronavirus crisis – including £650 million to be shared across state schools.
But school leaders fear this portion of the catch-up funds could be “almost entirely wiped out” because the government has so far “refused to reimburse” schools for the cost of implementing Covid safety measures.
Asked if this could mean schools are unable to provide catch-up learning, Geoff Barton, ASCL general secretary, said: “Schools will make decisions on how they manage their budgets but there is obviously a risk of that happening when funding is so tight.”
He added that schools are “walking on a tightrope of conflicting priorities”.
Read the full story here.
'Schools are not able to go on like this indefinitely'
Leaders and their staff have found themselves effectively on the front line in managing a significant element of the public health response to the Covid pandemic, writes the Association of School Leaders general secretary Geoff Barton.
The level of responsibility involved is extraordinary. So is the level of anxiety.
School leaders are used to the gritty rough and tumble that comes with running complex, accountable, high-profile institutions. But resilience is not an inexhaustible commodity. It is eroded day by grinding day.
What is for sure is that we will not be able to go on like this indefinitely. People will simply break under the strain.
WATCH: ‘Mountain to climb’ with disadvantaged students
The widening attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates during the pandemic is increasingly being recognised as one of the most pressing issues facing the education system.
And a Tes investigation today reveals how some disadvantaged pupils are now struggling to hold a pen or even stay awake in class after a total lack of routine for six months. Worse still, some have given up on school altogether after ‘developing careers as drug dealers.’
After the excitement of reopening, reality bites
As we near the end of the first month of full school reopenings, despite teachers gratitude to be able to be back in classrooms doing their jobs, the reality of the conditions they must work under to keep classrooms 'covid-secure' is starting to tell.
Yesterday, we revealed that teachers are struggling to ensure new rules are followed, with a third of teachers saying they have witnessed pupils deliberately coughing on others and crossing bubbles.
Meanwhile, teachers are also being urged to be extra vigilant to signs of abuse after children's charity NSPCC revealed it had helped over 200 children at risk over the lockdown, but are now worrying that many more may have been victims of sexual exploitation, while lacking access to their normal support networks.
You can catch-up with all of yesterday's developments here.