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?
School leaders call for policy consultation over school shutdown period after latest FSM 'u-turn'
School leaders who have campaigned over maintaining free school meal provision following school closures have questioned if the government is listening to "good advice" after it announced a "u-turn" on provision of FSM over easter.
Vic Goddard, principal of Passmore Academy in Harlow, took to social media to welcome the DfE's move to reverse an earlier decision not to provide FSM over the spring break, but also questioned its decision making during the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of u turns with govt education decisions makes me wonder whether they are listening to good advice before making their initial choices? It is good they are realising they have got it wrong AGAIN but a lot less stress if they get it right first time #FSM4Easter— Vic Goddard (@vicgoddard) April 4, 2020
Read the full story here.
MAT to support 8000 FSM pupils with Easter holiday food vouchers
AET said today it will continue to support pupils on Free School Meals in the trust’s 58 academies with food vouchers throughout the Easter break.
The trust will be providing vouchers valued at £25 to cover the full fortnight to 8,105 pupils.
Julian Drinkall, AET chief executive said: “Around 25 per cent of our pupils are eligible for Free School Meals and when it became clear that the government free school meals voucher scheme would not be running through the Easter break, we felt we had a moral duty to step up and support our pupils through this difficult time."
‘Supply teachers are crucial - use them’
The Liberal Democrats have written to the education secretary asking him to “give reassurance and guidance to supply teachers” and calling for the creation of a scheme to pair supply teachers with schools in need of support.
In the letter to Gavin Williamson, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran says: “What plans does the Government have to use these supply teachers as a resource at this time?
"It strikes me that a scheme to match out-of-work supply teachers with schools in need of support in order to cater for key workers’ and vulnerable children benefits both our education system and the teachers themselves.”
Full story here
Geography teaching specialists launch remote learning hub
The Geographical Association has launched a new online hub designed to support pupils and students studying for A level and higher education geography courses during school closures.
The GA 'Geography from home' resource includes quizzes to test geographical knowledge, activities to inspire geographical investigations around the home, garden or local area.
GA chief executive Alan Kinder said: "The coronavirus pandemic is having profound effects on the way we live our lives at present.
"Keeping everyone safe from harm remains the priority, but with imagination and determination we can also find ways to sustain high quality geographical education for all.
"I hope ‘Geography from home’ will help students and their families make the best possible use of their local surroundings for geographical investigation.
"At the same time, our resources include case study material from across the world and help young people to keep their horizons as wide as possible during this unprecedented period of lockdown and social distancing."
GCSEs A levels 2020: All your questions answered
Many teachers will have questions about how the new system for awarding GCSEs and A level grades in the absence of exams this summer will work in practice.
Tes specialist reporter Catherine Lough has put together this comprehensive Q&A on the new rules after attending the Ofqual briefing, and diving into tall the paperwork on the new rules this morning.
Warning to pupils after trolls share ‘XXX’ porn in heads’ Zoom meeting
Children have been urged not to use the video conferencing app Zoom after a school leaders’ meeting was spammed with inappropriate content.
The conference on coronavirus, which involved roughly 160 heads and academy chiefs, was "zoombombed" by internet users, who posted content that "would have broken every safeguarding issue going" in a virtual classroom, according to headteacher Chris Dyson.
Mr Dyson, who is head of Parklands Primary in Leeds said: "The meeting was shared freely over Twitter and wasn't password protected (so huge lessons learnt and a warning for schools with children NOT to be using it).
"The hijacking was in the form of Triple XXX pornography. There were some very, very, very distressed people on the thread."
Read the full story here.
Most teachers will need to work Easter holidays, and some who should be self-isolating asked to come to school
The NASUWT union has revealed teachers were asked to work during the first week of school closures despite some reporting they or their family had covid-19 symptoms.
It has also revealed that nearly all teachers are being expected to work over the Easter holidays as schools stay open for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.
The findings - from a survey of almost 1000 teachers - also revealed that most teachers feel they are being treated fairly by their employers.
Read the full story here.
Ofqual reveals ranking system for GCSE and A level grades
Ofqual has revealed how it will award grades in the absence of exams taking place this summer for GCSE and A level students.
The regulator says it will use a school student ranking system to check teacher calculations and 'standardise judgements' to ensure pupils are not 'disadvantaged' by the lack of exams this year compared to those who have been assessed in the usual way.
Hundreds of private schools could ‘go bust by Christmas’
Tes has today learned of the harsh reality facing independent schools.
One insider in the sector said more than half of schools could face extinction by Christmas due to loss in fees.
Read the story here.
Thanks for teachers as they navigate new world of Zoombombing and co-opting resources to help the NHS
Teachers were included in the nation's doorstep tributes as people clapped to show gratitude for key workers for the second week in a row last night.
Many took to social media yesterday to call for teachers to be recognised for their efforts to keep schools running to look after the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.
Meanwhile teachers were learning how to navigate the new world of remote learning, and avoid previously unknown threats such as a new phenomenon known as Zoombombing. Elsewhere, schools are putting their resources to use to produce masks and other PPE equipment and, in the case of Barrow-in-Furness, provide a respite ward - all to support and relieve the frontline NHS effort to battle the virus.
Catch-up on all of the above and more on yesterday's Live Blog here - and stay tuned for what looks likely to be another fast moving day as schools and teachers adapt to delivering education and support during the lockdown.