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?
LAs and MATs to decide who is eligible to receive free laptops
As families settle back into home learning after a very unusual Easter break, there will be many children who still don’t have the necessary tech to engage with online lessons.
On Sunday, the Department for Education pledged to provide these pupils with free laptops, tablets and 4G routers to help them access virtual resources.
But The DfE has now said it will be up to local authorities, diocese and multi-academy trusts to decide which children are eligible for the scheme.
The department told Tes that schools should only apply directly to the government where they are, for all intents and purposes, their own responsible body – such as single academy trusts.
But it did not provide its own definition of disadvantaged children – so it remains unclear who will benefit, even in these cases.
Read the full story here.
Minister raises eyebrows at select committee by questioning her department’s own figures
Children’s minister Vicky Ford may have raised a few eyebrows this morning when she questioned her department’s own figures on school attendance.
Ms Ford, being quizzed by MPs on the Education Committee, said DfE figures released this week showing that only one per cent of pupils were attending schools were too low.
She said the figures were recorded before the Easter holidays – yet the DfE document states they were recorded during the holidays.
Read the story here.
The children's commissioner recommends schools can encourage more children to attend school during shutdown
Anne Longfield has suggested schools can identify the 20 per cent from each year group who are likely to be disadvantaged and encourage them to come in on a day each a week.
However heads described the practical implications of such a move - which would see four per cent of a school's pupil population in attendance across the week - as 'daunting'.
Read the full story here.
Some GCSEs may not go ahead in autumn, Tes has learned
Pupils hoping to sit GCSEs or A levels in autumn may not be able to do so in all of their subjects, Ofqual has revealed.
The exam regulator had initially promised that any pupil unhappy with their teacher-assessed grade would be able to sit qualifications in autumn, with results released before December.
However, in the regulator’s most recent consultation guidance, it has said it may leave the decision about which exams to run up to the boards.
None of the three major UK exam boards would confirm that they planned to run a full complement of exams in autumn when approached by Tes.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said that exam boards should be required to hold exams for GCSE maths and English, as well as for A levels, because of their “enduring significance for the individual”.
Plight of vulnerable pupils under the lens
There is concern this morning over the low number of vulnerable children attending school, after Department for Education figures published yesterday revealed only 5 per cent of them were in school last week.
Will this be addressed at this morning's House of Commons Education Select Committee hearing?
Tune in tomorrow at 9.30am for our evidence session with @vickyford where we will be asking how @educationgovuk is supporting vulnerable children during the #COVID19 outbreak— Education Committee (@CommonsEd) April 21, 2020
? Watch live: https://t.co/yY5G3CpotE
And follow us for live tweets pic.twitter.com/cE9DyrMFXP
We will be keeping a close eye on this and all the day's other developments affecting schools. You can catch up on yesterday's events here.