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?
DfE issues guidance on creating hubs, but warns they could spread coronavirus
The Department for Education has published new guidance today for schools considering partnering with other schools in their area to create “hubs” or “clusters” to support key workers’ children and vulnerable pupils.
However, the guidance warned that setting up hubs is likely to increase risks to public health by increasing social contacts.
It advises schools to focus on workforce, safeguarding, SEND impact and transport considerations before deciding to go ahead with an hub arrangement.
DfE and Ofsted to monitor school attendance
Just as figures showed this week that only around 5 per cent of pupils classed as “children in need” or who have an EHC plan were turning up for school, the DfE and Ofsted have teamed up to gather data on vulnerable children’s attendance at school.
And where children are not at school, the DfE has unveiled a £12 million package to support children “at increased risk”.
Read the story here
School leaders need to engage in discussion on how schools can reopen safely, argues Geoff barton
Heads need to be advising how schools can re-open safely, and which pupils can and must be prioritised, argues the general secretary of the ASCL in an article for Tes today.
And schools can't wait for a vaccine to be ready before reopening because of the potential impact on pupils and young people, he adds.
Read the article here
DfE prioritises remote learning with ‘refocused’ edtech scheme
When the “EdTech Developer Programme” was launched last year, none of us could have imagined just how heavily teachers and pupils would soon rely on technology.
Now the government has “refocused” the scheme to help support remote teaching during the coronavirus crisis.
The DfE has also announced a second wave of funding, which will be available to technologically-savvy schools keen to share their expertise in light of the shutdown.
Read the full story here.
Teachers and parents will thwart Macron’s plans to reopen schools
Parents of French pupils have said they will engage in “civil disobedience” by keeping their children at home when President Macron reopens schools on May 11.
And teaching unions have also pledged to boycott lessons when schools return, accusing the government of exploiting schools to “.try out a collective immunity theory”.
The National Unitary Union of Primary School Teachers has opposed the reopening of schools until all pupils and teachers have been tested for the virus, which means lessons could not effectively resume until July 4.
Officials are concerned about the damage this could cause to President Macron’s reputation, with one source describing the policy as an “enormous mess” according to The Times.
Survey: What do teachers need to stay safe in school?
UK school staff are invited to help Tes tell the government about their concerns about staying safe at work by taking a few minutes to fill out this quick anonymous survey.
Find out how to contribute to this quick five minute poll here.
Teachers to get free tests but meals and laptops prove more elusive
After weeks of campaigning for better protection, school staff were told yesterday that they can apply for free coronavirus tests for themselves and their families.
It was a welcome piece of news late yesterday afternoon for teachers and schools leaders who have been growing increasingly frustrated with another part of the system failing to work during the crisis - the provision of free school meals.
Meanwhile Tes revealed that the eyecatching free laptop offer for disadvantaged children may not materialise when needed most - before schools re-open.
Stay tuned for today's developments as they emerge on today's live blog.
Catch-up with the news so far this week here.