From education to employment

Students to hold protests outside Department for Education buildings

Larissa Kennedy, NUS President

#JusticeForEducation @NUSuk – Students from across the UK are to hold socially-distanced, static protests outside Department for Education (@EducationGovUK) buildings in London, Bristol, Coventry, at 1pm on Thursday 20th August. There will also be an online protest hosted by the National Union of Students (NUS) at the same time on Twitter and Instagram.

Students are protesting against this year’s exam fiasco and calling for a full review into grade inequality so that the next generation of students don’t have to face this injustice. 

Over the past week working class students, students of colour and disabled students lost hard fought for university places. Despite the government’s U-turn, many students are still unable to take up the university places meant for them this year, because their course is now at capacity or because they have already made alternative arrangements.

Students successfully campaigned for A-Level and GCSE results to be based on centre assessed grades and to abolish the moderation system. This campaign will continue to be led by young people who are on the sharp end of this discriminatory examinations system.

Larissa Kennedy 100x100Larissa Kennedy, NUS President, said:

“Students will be taking to the streets because they are fed up of not being listened to.  The government subjected students to an assessment system that has further entrenched educational inequality, and the U-turn was too little too late, meaning many of the most marginalised students have had their rightful university places torn away from them. This is not justice.

“But this is not just about this year – it is about every student, in every postcode, in every year. Our education is built on classism, racism and ableism. We see this through the use of predicted grades and the underfunding of our schools, colleges and universities that creates a postcode lottery, year on year.

“We need a complete overhaul our system of exams and grading. In its place, we need investment into our education, our teachers, our students, our resources in order to end educational injustice once and for all.

“We stand in deep solidarity with everyone who took action not only for their education, but for future generations. Students across the UK demand #JusticeForEducation.”

Protests are planned to take place at the following locations:

  • London: 20 Great Smith St, Westminster, London SW1P 3BT
  • Bristol: Rivergate, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6ED
  • Coventry: 53-55 Butts Rd, Coventry CV1 3BH

These protests will all be socially distanced and we are not asking people to travel long distances to be there. All local leads will receive a full safety briefing from our team and our advertising will make explicitly clear that people should only take part in the pickets if they feel able and willing to. Nobody should take a risk to be part of this action. 

The National Union of Students, Alongside UCU, wrote to Gavin Williamson yesterday setting out these concerns.

We have also written to Michelle Donelan this morning to request an invitation to the Higher Education Taskforce.

Related Articles