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Commission's track record

Universal nursery education, a coherent 14-19 curriculum and raising literacy and numeracy standards in primary schools are government policy thanks in part to the National Commission on Education.

The commission was set up in 1991 after the Government rejected calls from Sir Claus Moser, a former senior civil servant, for an official inquiry into the long-term future of education and training. An independent body, under the auspices of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, its remit was to identify the key issue for all phases of education during the following 25 years.

Many of its proposals were dismissed by the Conservative government of the time - the then education secretary John Patten described plans for universal nursery education as unaffordable, but its 1993 report Learning to Succeed, did much to influence New Labour's approach to education.

The report recommended cutting primary class sizes, the establishment of a General Teaching Council and the replacement of A-levels and GCSEs by a single diploma.

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