Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The outbreak of Covid-19 is an uncertain time for everyone, but schools and teachers are facing unprecedented disruption with schools now closed and exams cancelled.
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?
'Repeat the year,' says ex-Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw
Pupils who have "lost out" on a key stage of exam preparation due to the coronavirus crisis may need to "repeat the whole year", according to an ex-Ofsted chief.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector between 2012 and 2016, said there is "some argument" for children repeating a year of their education if they have "lost out" as a result of the pandemic.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One programme, Sir Michael also said that he could see schools reopening in June "as long as there is plenty of planning".
Read the full story here.
Another 5 point test for school openings
At the weekend the government outlined the five tests it says must be passed before it reopens schools.
Now a teaching union has set out its own. The new general secretary of the NASUWT, Patrick Roach has written to the government outlining the five conditions that must be met if schools are going to reopen. Writing for Tes this morning, Mr Roach has outlined the thinking behind his approach.
Aldi joins free school meal voucher scheme
Aldi is the latest supermarket to sign up to the national free school meal voucher scheme.
It joins other chains such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S where vouchers from government website Edenred can be redeemed.
Minister for Children and Families Vicky Ford said: “We are focused on making sure that the 1.3 million disadvantaged children who would normally have a free school meal do not go hungry as a result of staying home to protect the NHS and save lives.”
“Today I am pleased to announce that supermarket Aldi has joined the list of supermarkets who can accept the national scheme gift cards and parents will be able to order Aldi vouchers from the week commencing 27 April.”
Edenred has said that £15 million worth of vouchers have been redeemed so far, but many headteachers and school business leaders have reported problems with the system.
Year 10 and 12 will ‘not be disadvantaged’ by coronavirus
Pupils in year 10 and 12 will not be unfairly disadvantaged in their 2021 exam results because of coronavirus, the exams regulator has pledged.
In guidance published today, Ofqual said that it was “too soon to say” what the impact of school closures would have on current year 10 and 12s’ exam results next year, but that if pupils’ performance is lower than expected, “it will work with exam boards to ensure they are not unfairly disadvantaged by these circumstances”.
It added that the immediate priority was to ensure this year’s results for summer 2020 are as “fair and robust” as possible.
80% fall in teachers going in to school since lockdown began
The number of teachers going in to school has dropped to 59,000 over the last 4 weeks, from 283,000 at the start of the lockdown, new DfE data reveals.
The department says the drop of around 80 per cent suggests that schools are "adapting to lower numbers of pupils and the latest advice on social distancing". Pupils attendance is now down to below 1 per cent, and last week 61 per cent of schools were open.
ESFA relaxes checks to 'ease burden' on academies
The DfE agency that oversees academies' use of public money has said it will be cutting down on financial checks during the coronavirus crisis.
The Education, Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) has today written to academy accounting officers, laying out the actions it is taking to "ease the burden" on trusts during the pandemic.
However, it stressed that the framework of controls set out in the academies financial handbook "has never been more important".
Read the full story here.
Online lessons can't replicate schools
Schools, the government and national media are doing as much as possible to support pupils learning at home during this period, and yesterday saw the successful launch of a new virtual academy, as well as daily lessons from the BBC.
But, as we all know, this doesn't replace all the work that goes on in schools - a fact wryly summed up by one parent who placed a sign in their window flagging their Ofsted rating ("Bloody awful"):
Saw this home learning sign a parent had put in their window. pic.twitter.com/PNWdH6iOKx— Steve Hewitt-Richard (@stevehew1965) April 20, 2020
We'll post all of today's updates here as they happen, and you can catch up on yesterday's developments here