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UCU responds to government plans to provide grades for cancelled exams

20 March 2020

Government plans to create grades for students who exams are cancelled this summer must take into account the barriers that students from disadvantaged backgrounds face, said UCU.

The union said its research showed that high-achieving, disadvantaged students are more likely to have their grades under-predicted than their wealthier contemporaries. UCU also said that it would be consulting with the staff tasked with working under the new system.

UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, said: 'This is of course a unique and difficult situation, but we have concerns that students from disadvantaged backgrounds may lose out here. Research shows that students from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have a better than predicted improvement in their academic attainment at A-level stage.

'The government needs to set out how it will ensure that all students' talent and potential will be properly recognised and rewarded. We will be consulting with our members to get their views on these plans and feed them back to ministers.

'The current situation highlights the weakness of a heavy reliance on exams for key qualifications, and should give food for thought in terms of future reform.'

Last updated: 20 March 2020