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UCU response to Gavin Williamson's U-turn on A-level results

17 August 2020 | last updated: 18 August 2020

A U-turn from Gavin Williamson on exam results is to be welcomed but he now needs to provide universities with substantial financial support so that they can protect all jobs, welcome students safely next term and continue to provide world leading teaching and research said UCU.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'Too many students have had their futures turned upside down because of the mess caused by this government. Gavin Williamson's "triple-lock" turned out to be a triple-block on student life chances, locking in inequality. This U-turn and apology are welcome, but we should never have got to this position. The political incompetence is unforgivable and there are still many questions to be answered. If he had listened to us and the other voices calling for him to use teacher predicted grades earlier he could have saved us from a weekend of chaos and confusion.

'Staff facing unbearable workloads trying to deal with this fiasco have also faced needless cuts and threats of redundancy because of the uncertainty created by the government. It now needs to provide substantial financial support to the sector so that universities can protect all jobs, welcome students safely next term and continue to provide world leading teaching and research.'

Update: Read also the UCU and NUS joint letter to the secretary of state for education, Gavin Williamson [220kb]

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