The year-long project ‘The Times education commission’ will lead to real change across schools and universities.
According to a YouGov poll of 3,000 adults for The Times, parents are against plans to increase the school day to help pupils bounce back from the pandemic.
To help tackle this and other big issues such as preparing children for the workplace, The Times has set up an education commission, a project that is expected to inform government policy and to lead to radical change across schools and universities.
It will bring together experts including senior MPs, headteachers, academics, vice-chancellors and a children’s author and has a wide-ranging remit, including the curriculum, qualifications, social mobility, exclusions, new technology, lifelong learning and the number of people going to university.
John Witherow, editor of The Times, said: “Education has been in crisis this past year and it’s time to take stock and see what needs to be done to reform it to give young people a better start in life.”
Sir Anthony Seldon, a commissioner for ‘The Times education commission’ and former head of Wellington College added: “For many years, it’s been clear that the school system is no longer doing the job required of it. We have an education system profoundly linked to the 20th-century model.
“Covid has highlighted this even further. If there was a royal commission it would take five years, we don’t have the luxury of that time. We need vastly to improve the education system and make it much better suited to the 21st century. Governments are too wedded to the status quo way of thinking.”
Seldon said he hoped the commission’s findings would feed into the academic year starting in September 2022. He said: “There is no point producing a marvellous report that sits on shelves. This has to be a call for action that has a very high impact.”