Welcome to the Tes coronavirus liveblog. The outbreak of Covid-19 is an uncertain time for everyone, but schools and teachers are likely to face more disruption than many.
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?
Schools stay open but overseas trips must be cancelled
School gates in the UK are to remain open for now but the government has advised cancellation of overseas trips.
The DfE has also now shared the Prime Minister's earlier announcement that those with new continuous coughs and temperatures over 37.8 degrees should stay at home for seven days.
The government and NHS have updated the advice on #COVID19.— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) March 12, 2020
If you have: a new continuous cough OR high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher) you should stay at home for 7 days.
Read the full guidance now:
▶️ https://t.co/jseGhGeb53#Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/0n9UfSXYmK
Read our full story on the latest government advice here.
Ofsted to take ‘lenient view’ on pupil absence figures during pandemic – health secretary
Schools should not be penalised for high absence rates due to pupils needing to self-isolate amid covid-19 fears, the health secretary Matt Hancock as said.
Speaking in parliament, Mr Hancock said Ofsted would take a “lenient view” towards schools unauthorised absence figures during the coronavirus period, after Labour MP for Bristol North West Darren Jones called for assurances to be given to address the concerns of headteachers.
He said: "Ofsted absolutely will take a lenient view of the impact of coronavirus on what's happening in schools [due to coronavirus]."
Fears over 40 per cent of schools set for coronavirus closure chaos
Government advisers have warned 40 per cent of schools in England could face coronavirus closure 'chaos' as they aren't prepared for the "new challenge" of remote working.
The external tech expert adviser -who wanted to remain anonymous - warned of possible "chaos" if those schools can't be supported to manage remote learning when schools are closed due to covid-19.
Unfortunately the government are not currently responding to requests for fresh guidance on what schools should do in the event of school closures - on remote learning, free school meals or whether there will be funding to support continued learning.
Tes reporter Amy Gibbons has been tirelessly speaking to officials to try and get clarification for teachers but she was advised by the DfE to speak to Public Health England, but PHE said to approach the DfE or the Department of Health, which suggested she contact the DfE.
Read the full exclusive story here.
Schools not closing in Scotland – yet
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said this afternoon that schools, colleges and universities were not closing, but that this would remain under review.
However, mass gatherings of more than 500 people will be cancelled from Monday – prompting a number of people on Twitter to point out that many schools have more than 500 students.
The first minister – who spoke minutes after Ireland announced the closure of all schools, colleges and childcare facilities from tomorrow – is due to provide another update at around 3pm, when she will be joined by chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood and health secretary Jeane Freeman.
Meanwhile, the president of Scottish education directors’ national body has been explaining why recent extreme weather has helped schools prepare for potential coronavirus closures.
Head takes lead from 2019 guidance on feeding FSM pupils if schools close
Schools can provide cash to 16-19 year old students if they "identify particular and exceptional circumstances" that prevent them being able to provide free school meals to eligible candidates, according to 2019 government guidance.
The official advice was unearthed by Harlow Passmores Academy headteacher Vic Goddard, after he requested guidance from the DfE yesterday on how to cater for FSM pupils. He says he is still awaiting answer but this guidance is relevant:
Ireland latest country to close all schools
The Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar announced this morning that all schools in the republic will close from 6pm this evening (Thursday 12th March) for just over two weeks.
#closeukschools trends on Twitter, but signs are they will stay open for today
The Government is expected to announce it has officially moved to the 'delay' phase of it's coronavirus action plan following a meeting of its emergency planning committee meeting cobra today.
However, school closures are not expected to be ordered today, according to reports, despite growing pressure on social media, with some users sharing a parliamentary petition that had gained over 300,000 signatures at time of writing.
In the meantime Tes has gathered all best advice from experts on how teachers can get ahead and prepare - read the complete planning guide for closures here.
School closures around the world and advice for UK teachers facing classroom shutdown
The numbers of schools closing their doors around the world in response to the Coronavirus is rising each day - a live list has been compiled by ISC Research as we reported on the blog yesterday.
As teachers await to hear if advice to keep schools open changes in the UK, we have gathered all the best expert advice on how teachers and schools can prepare for a shutdown if and when it happens here.