Records of the Commission, 1991-1995, including minutes of the Commission, Research Committee, Working and Steering Groups, written and oral evidence, including audio-tapes, and press cuttings.
Records of the National Commission on Education
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 366 NCE
- Dates of Creation1991-1995
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description34 boxes, 67 cassette tapes
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
In 1990, Sir Claus Moser gave the Presidential Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in which he drew attention to the need for 'an overall review of the education and training scene: a review which would be visionary about the medium and long-term future facing our children and this country; treating the system in all its inter-connected parts; and last, but not least, considering the changes in our working and labour market scenes.' His call for a Royal Commission was rejected by the government. Instead, the National Commission on Education was established as an independent body set up in July 1991 under the auspices of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and with sponsorship from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Its remit was to consider all phases of education and training throughout the whole of the United Kingdom and to identify and examine key issues arising over the next 25 years.
The Commission's terms of reference were:
'In the light of the opportunities and challenges that will face the United Kingdom in a changing world over the next 25 years, to identify and consider key issues arising from: the definition of educational goals and assessment of the potential demand for education and training, in order to meet the economic and social requirements of the country and the needs and aspirations of people throughout their lives; and the definition of policies and practical means whereby opportunities to satisfy that demand may be made available for all, bearing in mind the implications for resources and institutions and for all of those involves in the education and training system; and to report its conclusions and recommendations in such manner as it may think fit.'
The Commission identified seven key issues and established working groups, consisting of two Commission and two external members, to look into each of them:
1. Effective schooling
2. Schools, society and citizenship
3. The teaching profession and quality
4. Higher and further education in the twenty-first century
5. Preparing for work today and tomorrow
6. Better ways of learning
It also undertook a wide variety of other activities including seminars, formal and informal discussion meetings, surveys, lectures and visits. It gathered advice and opinion from individuals and organisations by means of written and oral evidence, commissioned new research and analysed existing statistics and literature.
Several prominent educationists and other public figures served on the Commission. The Commissioners were:
John Walton, Lord Walton of Detchant, House of Lords (Chairman)
John Raisman, British Telecom (Deputy Chairman)
John Cassels, National Economic Development Office (Director)
Averil Burgess, South Hampstead High School
Betty Campbell, Mount Stuart Primary School, Cardiff
David Giachardi, Courtaulds, plc
Christopher Johnson, Lloyds Bank
Helena Kennedy, Barrister
Alistair MacFarlane, Heriot Watt University
Margaret Maden, County Education Officer, Warwickshire
Claus Moser, Wadham College, Oxford
Jenny Shackleton, Wirral Metropolitan College
Richard Staite, Beeslack High School, Penicuik, Lothian
Jeff Thompson, University of Bath
David Watson, Brighton Polytechnic
Peter Wickens, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd.
Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.
These records were deposited in the Institute of Education by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in June 1995.
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