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The Times

The Times Education Commission


The Times Education Commission was launched to reform an area that had slipped down the political agenda.

Disadvantaged pupils fell further behind their wealthier peers but the Commission showed that the flaws in the education system predate the Covid-19 crisis.

The Times Education Commission aimed to bring about change. The year-long project was chaired by Rachel Sylvester, supported by a group of expert Commissioners with successful backgrounds of business, science, the arts, education and politics including Sir Michael Morpurgo, Baroness Lane-Fox, Lord Rees and Tristram Hunt.

The Commission was one of the broadest inquiries into education launched, it examined the future of education in the light of the pandemic, declining social mobility, the changing nature of work and new technology.

As well as publishing regular stories, The Times held an Education Summit with speakers including Sir James Dyson, the inventor, Kevin Ellis, the chairman of PwC, and Euan Blair, the Multiverse founder, to debate the economic case for reform.

The Commission held evidence sessions, regional round table meetings, consulting youth panels and parent focus groups, as well as conducting exclusive research and visits to schools, colleges and universities.

The Commission’s final report included a 12-point plan, including recommendations on building better practice, boost to funding, tech supplies for students and a greater focus on well-being in school.

The report was welcomed by two former prime ministers from different parties, Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major, and ten former education secretaries from across the political spectrum – and the then incumbent Nadhim Zahawi – as well as dozens of leading figures from the worlds of science, business and the arts.