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Friday, 27 September, 2002, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Profile: Sir William Stubbs
Sir William Stubbs
Sir William Stubbs is at the centre of the A-levels row
The chairman of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority was sacked by the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris in the row over A-level grades.

Sir William Hamilton Stubbs, 64, has had a long career in education.

His first job in the field was as a teacher but he then moved on to managing education services for local authorities.

He attended Workington Grammar School in Cumberland, followed by St Aloysius College Glasgow, University of Glasgow, where he gained a BSc and a PhD.

Later, he studied at the University of Arizona.

Glasgow teacher

He began his working life at the Shell oil company in California in 1964, staying there for three years before becoming a teacher.

He taught for five years in Glasgow and went on to help run education departments in Carlisle and Cumbria as assistant director of education in the 1970s.

In 1977 he joined the now defunct Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) as deputy education officer and in 1982 became ILEA's chief executive, a job he held until 1988.

Standards

After ILEA was disbanded, William Stubbs went on to become the chief executive of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council, where he worked until 1992.

He continued at the helm of the restyled Further Education Funding Council for England between 1992 and 1996.

He was knighted in 1994.

His head teacher wife, Lady Marie Stubbs, was brought out of retirement to turn around St George's School in Maida Vale, west London, following the murder of its head, Philip Lawrence, in 1995.

They have been married for 39 years and have three daughters.

Final straw

Sir William joined the exams watchdog, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in 1997.

It has just appointed a new chief executive following the sudden resignation of the previous post holder a year ago.

Sir William had a reputation among exam boards for blunt speaking.

But he also left them with the "perception" that he wanted A-level grades held down this year - triggering a crisis in the system which led to his downfall.

After he accused the education secretary of having pre-judged the outcome of the Tomlinson inquiry into alleged grade fixing, his removal was seen as inevitable.

It followed swiftly on the publication of the Tomlinson report - even though that cleared him of having acted improperly.

All he had ever sought, he said afterwards, was to protect the standards of all examinations.

He has since threatened to sue the government for unfair dismissal and defamation unless he gets a public apology.

The alleged A-level grades manipulation

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21 Sep 01 | Education
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