Yesterday the UK government U-turned and announced that A-Level and GCSE grades in England will be awarded on centre assessed grades.
This is because of the amazing work of students across the country who have campaigned for this! This victory belongs to every student who told their story, who lobbied the government and who took to the streets in the face of a classist, racist, ableist grading system.
We cannot let the momentum stop here - we must make a lasting change for every student, in every postcode, in every year.
Yesterday we sent an open letter, with UCU, highlighting out concerns to the government and calling for urgent action!
We need a complete overhaul our system of exams and grading and, 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.
So join us in protest, whether in person or online at 1pm on Thursday!
Where will the protests be?
London: 20 Great Smith St, Westminster, London SW1P 3BT
The pavement in front of the DfE is not wide enough for social distancing, so we would recommend holding the picket on the grass at Westminster Abbey.
Coventry: 53-55 Butts Road CV1 3BH
Bristol: Rivergate, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6ED
The area is on a pedestrianised road, two minutes from Bristol Temple Meads station.
Manchester: Store St, Manchester M1 2WD
The office is two minutes from Piccadilly station, faced by an outdoor carpark where we would recommend the protests to take place.
TO BE CONFIRMED - Nottingham: Jubilee conference centre 1DH, Triumph Rd, Nottingham
The protest is located just off University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus.
Sheffield: 2, St Pauls Place, 125 Norfolk St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2JF
The building is located on a pedestrianised street, it is located just off Sheffield Hallam University.
What to do before you go to the protest?
- Create signs, placards and banners - make your own placards and banners using cardboard, old sheets and paint! Think of your own slogans or use some of these - #Justice4Education, The only solution is revolution, BIN the Algorithm, People not Postcodes or standardisation is failing education.
- Know your rights - when going to a protest it is important to know your rights in case you are stopped by the police. You are usually not required to answer police questions and can usually just reply 'no comment'. Similarly, you not ususally required to give personal details when stopped and searched, but not providing them could lead the situation to escalate. There is more information on exactly what rights you should know here.
- Be COVID safe - This will be a socially distanced action and we’ve done a full risk assessment with steps in place to keep this safe, but consider what actions you can take to keep yourself safe. Bring a mask, keep your distance from others and do not attend if you feel unwell or do not feel able to.
- Bring essentials - make sure to bring any essentials with you on the day such as water, snacks, a mobile phone and portable charger.
What if I can't attend a physical protest?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you! We will not only be at DfE offices, but also be taking over social media.
All you need to do is:
- Be active on Twitter or Instagram at 1pm on the 20th August
- Post a selfie with a placard (printed or DIY)
- Share the campaign graphics - you can download them here
- Comment on why you’re taking part in this virtual picket
- Tag @GavinWilliamson on Twitter or @gavinwilliamson.mp on Instagram
- Finish with the hashtag #Justice4Education!
Between 1pm and 2:30pm @NUSUK will be sharing and retweeting your posts!
We also can’t deny the talent of you all on TikTok so if you fancy creating a video on this platform, please also share it on Instagram or Twitter so we can repost!