Welcome to your one stop shop for all the latest education news for teachers and everyone else who works in schools or is interested in them.
At Tes the news team publishes many stories a day covering everything from exams to teacher workload, the coronavirus crisis, school funding and the curriculum.
This is your easy way of keeping up – somewhere you can find everything we have covered that day in a single, easy to access, place.
Fresh calls to postpone baseline tests
Peers are calling for the start date of the controversial new baseline assessment to be pushed back a term – to January 2022.
This would in turn allow schools time to pay "special attention" to children who were unable to develop their language skills during the Covid crisis, according to a House of Lords committee.
The peers, who were scrutinising the legislation to introduce the assessment in the next academic year, also said they were "concerned" about "significant" teacher workload in the autumn term.
Read the full story here.
The Tes news podcast: GCSE grading workload worries and the masks controversy
Join the Tes reporters as we discuss the “horrendous workload” that teachers are up against to produce GCSE and A-level assessments and evidence, and the warnings about more work to come in the summer holidays dealing with appeals over grades.
The team also unpicks our exclusive interview with Ofqual chair Ian Bauckham, who has urged teachers not to just “test, test, test” in the final few weeks before they submit grades and we look at the latest developments with mask wearing in the classroom.
Listen to the podcast in full here.
‘Clear scientific advice’ needed on end to school masks
Teaching unions have expressed disappointment that the government has ignored pleas to make face coverings in schools mandatory for longer as speculation mounts that the prime minister will announce plans to lift the measure.
The announcement to end the school mask rule for secondary school pupils in England from May 17 is expected to be made by Boris Johnson on Monday despite opposition from unions.
Unions and scientists wrote a letter to the government calling for face coverings to remain in schools until at least 21 June to control coronavirus in schools.
“We think mask wearing has become accepted and feel there was a good reason to look at the data for longer.” said Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union.“
“We gave the government some advice; they have not taken that advice and we are disappointed.”
Read more here
Half of SEND inspections find 'significant weaknesses'
New figures have come out which show the scale of the challenges facing children and young people with special and educational needs in receiving the education and care services they need.
Inspectors have found "significant weaknesses" with special needs provision in more than half of local authority areas visited over the past five years, new statistics show.
And of the areas with shortcomings that have since been revisited, less than half were making "sufficient progress" in addressing all major issues.
The data, published today, shows that Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out joint inspections of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) arrangements in 116 of the 151 local areas across England between May 2016 and March of this year
Read more here.
DfE is expected to remove masks in classroom requirement
The education secretary has said the government is planning to lift the face mask requirement for secondary school pupils in England, despite opposition from unions who have said it is essential to control Covid-19.
Gavin Williamson told the Telegraph that the government planned to remove the measure at step three of its road map out of lockdown, which will be no earlier than 17 May.
Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to make the announcement on Monday, according to the newspaper.
Read more here.
GCSEs 2022: Teachers will be notified of ‘significant’ exam changes by September
Teachers will "need to know" of any "significant" changes to the 2022 GCSEs and A level exam series before September at the start of the next academic year, Ofqual chair Ian Bauckham has told Tes.
He said that teachers would need to be told if sections were being removed from exam papers, for example.
Mr Bauckham told Tes: "What we’re doing at the moment is working closely on the best possible arrangements for examination in 2022, and a number of different options are being explored and tested, including with some key stakeholders with interests in particular parts of the system and the way the pandemic has impacted on schools.
Asked whether teachers would know about plans for exams next year by September, he said: "It depends, do they need to know before the start of the academic year – obviously if there are going to be any significant modifications, they do need to know that.”
Read more here.
GCSEs 2021: Teachers warned by Ofqual not to ‘test, test and test’
In the six-week run-up to the submission of teacher-assessed GCSE and A level grades, schools will be looking at how they can build up evidence for the grades.
But Ofqual chair Ian Bauckham has said that while schools may wish to run some controlled tasks, the six weeks before submission on June 18 should not be used for exam papers alone.
"I would say if you’ve really got no evidence at all, you’ve got no formal written work in the second year of a GCSE or A-level course, probably you should be using this time you’ve got now to combine some formal assessment tasks with your teaching," Mr Bauckham said.
"But let me just be clear...I’m not saying use all this time to do tests and tests and more tests. I’m saying use it to teach but also use it to make sure that you generate evidence that you can rely on when you come to make your decisions about grades," he added.
Read more here.
Covid 'puts pupils an extra month behind' in maths
A major new report has been published today which looks in detail at the impact of Covid disruption on the education of primary school pupils from deprived backgrounds.
It has found that disadvantaged children have fallen behind their more affluent peers in maths by an extra month as a result of the first Covid lockdown.
The attainment gap between poorer school pupils and their classmates has grown in the subject since schools were first closed due to Covid, according to research by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) charity.
And the fact that the gap did not shrink during the autumn term of this academic year suggests that it is unlikely to close without intervention over the coming months, researchers have said.
Read more here.
Heads warning to government about grades appeal workload
As we move further into the summer term there is one issue which is dominating teachers' minds and time in the secondary school sector - awarding grades for the cohort of students who will not be sitting exams this summer after they were cancelled.
Yesterday Tes revealed that heads are now warning the government that they cannot ignore the issue of the extra workload for schools being generated by the prospect of students appealing over their grades.
The Association of School and College leaders (ASCL) says it is “anxious about how onerous” the appeals process could be for schools, and says it is also concerned that the extra work will fall during the summer holiday.
ASCL has also spoken out after Ofsted suggested that the primary and secondary schools should work together more on languages teaching in order to support the government's target of having 90 per cent of pupils studying the qualifications needed for the EBacc.
The school leaders' union has said this plan is unrealistic and that the Department for Education's target will simply be impossible to reach without more language teachers in the system.
There has also been more news on the impact of Covid on the sector.
There will lots more news to come throughout the day from Tes on both Covid impact, teacher assessed grades and much more on this blog.
You can catch-up on the more of yesterday's schools news here.