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?
'Add TV subtitles to boost literacy'
Writer and performer Stephen Fry, and children’s leureate Cressida Cowell, are among key figures calling for broadcasters of children’s TV programmes to turn on subtitles when home-learning is at its peak during the pandemic.
Campaigners say subtitles are an “incredibly simple” way of boosting literacy, particularly among primary children.
How long will schools stay closed to most pupils?
Despite speculation in the Sunday papers over when schools will or should re-open, the government has given no official answers and says it will depend on the scientific evidence.
Join the Tes news team in our weekly podcast as we discuss this and other issues, including the appointment of Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary.
Tune in here or click the play button below:
Tributes to Professor Harvey Goldstein
Hundreds of people have used Twitter to pay respects to educationalist Harvey Goldstein, who is reported to have died from Covid-19.
The professor of social statistics at the University of Bristol was known for his contributions to multilevel modelling methodology and software, and for applying this to educational assessment and league tables.
He was also visiting professor at the Institute of Child health at UCL, where he was formerly a professor of statistical methods at its Institute of Education.
So sad to hear Harvey Goldstein has died of COVID. He was a legend and so very kind to me when I first started at IOE, and indeed over the years since. He mentored so many of us quants people in Education and he will be missed by all including colleagues @BritishAcademy_— Anna Vignoles (@AnnaVignoles) April 11, 2020
'Denial of PPE for teachers is dodgy'
New general secretary of the NASUWT Patrick Roach says government guidance that teachers do not need personal protective equipment is “dodgy” and “unhelpful”.
Mr Roach, who takes up his new office today, said "[Teachers] are being asked, when the rest of the country is being asked to stay at home, to leave their homes on a daily basis to support children of key workers and vulnerable children.
"We think there is an obligation on the government to listen to that concern from the profession about providing access to PPE."
Read the full story here.
'Integrate virus-hit private schools into state system,' says Labour
The government should support private schools hit by the coronavirus by "integrating" them into the state sector, Labour has suggested.
Tes revealed last week how sector insiders fear that hundreds of UK independent schools will be "bust by Christmas" because of the pandemic, with some parents refusing to pay fees.
Now, the new shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey is promoting the idea of converting them into state schools as a solution.
Read the full story here
Ofqual moves to clarify GCSE grading plan
The blog said Ofqual had published two short films, one for students and one for teachers, "to help everyone understand the process better".
Read the full story here
A long list from Long-Bailey to keep the DfE busy
She's only been in post since Monday, but Labour's new shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has tried to set down an early marker.
Yesterday at around 5pm just as the government was beginning its daily coronavirus press briefing she posted a four page list of questions for education secretary Gavin Williamson about the coronavirus crisis.
They range from a call to protect teachers to questions about Easter school openings and appeals over GCSE and A level grades.
Ms Long-Bailey published them on Twitter with an emoji wink saying they should keep Mr Williamson "busy for a few days".
But one teaching union has already come to the DfE's defence.
For the record, @GavinWilliamson and @educationgovuk team are working extraordinarily hard on issues such as these. Feels to me that their approach is collaborative with the education sector. These unprecedented times require a generosity of spirit. And that’s what I’m seeing.— Geoff Barton (@RealGeoffBarton) April 9, 2020
Read the full story here
How to limit screen time when working remotely - for teachers and pupils
Hanna Miller, the assistant head for teaching and learning across the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, outlines five key considerations she used to guide her trust’s remote-learning strategy in an article for Tes today.
She includes advice on how to ensure teachers and pupils don't spend too much time in front of computer screens and the importance of ensuring fundamentals of teaching and learning were not forgotten.
Read the article here.
How to keep staff connected in challenging times
All staff are affected by the current crisis but department head Caroline Powell says we must not overlook staff on leave during this time, whether that’s from maternity leave or sickness-related reasons.
She says it’s vital schools make sure they reach out to these staff and include them in what is going on so they remain connected and part of the community during these challenging times – from involving them in WhatsApp groups to wellbeing initiatives.
Read Caroline's article here.
How to do pastoral support on lockdown
Maintaining pastoral support while working remotely is not easy but the deputy head of The British School in Tokyo, Duncan Grey, has some ideas on how to make it work after working in this way for over six weeks.
In an article for Tes published today he outlines five core ideas for maintaining student support, such as monitoring engagement, actively engaging in feedback from pupils and parents and ensuring safeguarding remains a top priority.
Will and Kate thank teachers in virtual school visit
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised school staff for doing an "amazing job" on the front line during the coronavirus crisis.
William and Kate carried out their first royal tour via video call, chatting to pupils and teachers at a primary school to learn how they are coping during the outbreak.
The couple "visited" Casterton Primary Academy, close to Burnley General Hospital, which has remained open for children of key workers and other vulnerable pupils.
Kate said: "To you and everyone who is in during this time, it must be such a relief for all the parents who are key workers to know that their children have the normality and structure and they've got a safe place for them to be.
"So really, really well done and for all of you, I know it's not easy circumstances, but it's fantastic."
A teacher replied: "Thank you so much. I think everyone is just pleased to be able to help."
The couple spent an hour speaking to children – who held up pictures of their parents – including 10-year-old Harris, whose mother is still working as an NHS administrator for health visitors, and Lloyd, nine, whose mother is employed at a special needs school.
See the 'visit' on social media here:
Chinese investor interest in stricken UK independent schools
International investors could be set to buy out English independent schools facing closure owing to coronavirus.
Sector insiders have warned that hundreds of independent schools could face extinction by Christmas due to loss of revenue following school closures amid the pandemic.
But Chinese investors could be about to line up in a "feeding frenzy" following high-profile takeovers of English private schools last year and while the pound is weak.
Julian Fisher, senior partner at Beijing-based education consultancy Venture Education, told Tes: “Chinese investors have not been put off by the current pandemic – if anything, it has accelerated the process.
“We were approached two weeks ago by a large property company from the south of China with explicit interest in purchasing a UK school and again this morning from a company in the north.
“The pound is weak, many UK schools seem open to sale and, like many things in China, it seems that the high-profile purchase of a few UK schools in 2019 has set a precedent for investors that may become something of a feeding frenzy."
Read the full exclusive here
School re-openings speculation 'premature'
A research paper published earlier this week has fuelled suggestions that the government should consider full re-openings of schools.
But speculation about the idea - viewed with alarm by many teachers - was batted off by the government yesterday.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Professor Dame Angela McLean, chief scientific adviser for the Ministry of Defence, was asked if schools will reopen before the summer.
"It would be completely premature for me to give a yes or no answer to that question, because so much depends on this question of how well have the measures put in on March 23 worked, and we can't know that this week until we see a longer run of infections that have happened since that time," she said.
Other stories we reported on yesterday included problems with the free school meal voucher scheme, and long awaited guidance for special schools.
You can catch up here.