The rise and rise of Sir Cyril

1935 born in Yorkshire, educated at St Marylebone grammar school and Roundhay school, Leeds

1954 Platoon commander, King's African Rifles, in the Mau Mau emergency, Kenya

1956-64 history degree from Cambridge, MBA from Harvard, working in brand management for Procter Gamble, United States. Products include Gleam toothpaste

1964 founded the American Institute of Foreign Studies (includes Camp America, Au Pair in America, American Council for International Studies)

1977 joined the Greater London Council; deputy leader of Tory group from 1982

1987 City Technology Trust founded; Sir Cyril made adviser to Secretary of State

1988 First city technology college opens

1989 Receives first knighthood

1992 White Paper backs technology colleges, the first specialist schools

1993 First technology colleges conference

1995 First 16 language colleges announced

1996 Arts and sports colleges announced

1997 Sir Cyril drops Conservative party membership; new Labour Government pledges specialist schools expansion

2000 Specialist schools reach 550

2001 Green Paper sets target of 1,500 specialist schools by 2005

2003 City Technology Trust becomes Specialist Schools Trust; affiliated schools exceed 2,000; all secondaries can apply for specialist status; Sir Cyril becomes "super sir" with Knights grand cross

2004 Almost 2,000 schools granted specialist status; schools allowed to bid for a second specialism; Sir Cyril advises Specialist Schools Trust schools to seek foundation status

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