Times Education Commission’s final report will Turbocharge Positive Change
In the upcoming months, The Times Education Commission has released its final report, calling for a fundamental reset of the schooling system in England. The information makes several recommendations, including increased investment in digital technologies and infrastructure, greater inclusion of disadvantaged groups, and more focus on the needs of individual learners.
Politicians and education experts from across the spectrum have welcomed the report and said it makes a strong case for change. Dame Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England, told Times Radio’s breakfast programme that the report is “brimming with good ideas” and that she supports its calls for more digital inclusion.
The Times Education Commission’s chairman, Sir David Bell, said that the current system is “not fit for purpose” and that the pandemic has laid bare the system’s shortcomings. He called on the government to act on the report’s recommendations, saying that “the time for tinkering around the edges is over”.
When we know that the country is facing significant challenges, our schooling system must be fit for purpose and able to meet the needs of all learners. The Times Education Commission’s final report provides a roadmap for achieving this, and it is now up to the government to act on its recommendations.
In this change, we will see an increase in investment in digital technologies and infrastructure, essential for supporting distance learning and delivering educational content online. Inclusion of disadvantaged groups is another key recommendation, focusing on ensuring that all learners have access to quality education regardless of their background or circumstances.
By adopting the British Baccalaureate as a replacement for A-levels and Highers, the education systems in the UK could be completely transformed. The Commission believes that this would provide a more comprehensive and well-rounded education for students, preparing them better for university and work life.
The Liberal Democrats’ education spokesman, John Pugh, also welcomed the report, saying that it “addresses many of the problems that have beset our education system for years”. He added that the party would consider its recommendations “very carefully”.
Education experts have also given the Times Education Commission’s report a warm reception. Sir Anthony Seldon, the Vice-Chancellor of Buckingham University, said that it was “excellent” and called for its recommendations to be implemented “as soon as possible”.
Sir David Bell said: “The scale of the challenge facing our education system has been laid bare by the pandemic. The time for tinkering around the edges is over. We need a fundamental reset of our approach to schooling.” Dame Rachel de Souza told Times Radio’s breakfast programme that she supports the report’s calls for more digital inclusion, saying: “The Times Education Commission’s report is brimming with good ideas.”
However, some have criticised the report, saying it does not go far enough. Kevin Courtney, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said that the Report fails to recognise “the scale of the crisis in our schools and colleges”.
The government has said it will respond to the report in due course. In the meantime, Dame Rachel de Souza has called on the government to act on its recommendations immediately.
Instead, the commission suggests that a new type of exam, the technical baccalaureate, should be introduced for students aged 16 to 19 who want to follow a vocational route.
The technical baccalaureate would include an extended project, work experience, internship, and English and maths qualifications. It would be equivalent to three A-levels and offered by colleges and universities.
The report also recommends that all schools offer digital skills classes as part of the curriculum and that every child have a laptop or tablet. In addition, it calls for creating 50 new university campuses across the country and for an army of undergraduate tutors to be recruited to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Times Education Commission’s recommendations come at a critical time, and it is now up to the government to act on them to ensure that our schooling system is fit for purpose and able to meet the needs of all learners. Find the report here