Inherited idealism still intact

27th October 1995 at 00:00
Estelle Morris's idealism does not appear to have been seriously bruised by spending the past year in the whips' office, the operational heart of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

She retains an almost evangelical belief that Labour in power will be able to transform an education system brought to its present pass by Tory administrations.

This faith may be a product of being born into the Labour party. Her father was Charles Morris, the Manchester MP who was Harold Wilson's Parliamentary Private Secretary. Her uncle is Alf Morris, the MP for Wythenshawe.

Until she was elected as MP for Birmingham Yardley in 1992, her working life had been spent in a large Coventry comprehensive, the Sydney Stringer.

That experience probably helped her lecture Conservative MPs on the state of the system during the passage of the last Education Bill. However, she has also done her stint in local government. She was elected to Warwick district council in 1969 and developed an interest in housing.

The past 12 months in the whips' office has seen a maturing of her style. She has had to act as broker between Labour MPs and the education team during a period of awkward decisions about policy on grant-maintained schools. David Blunkett gave her a wider role than is usual for whips, involving her in policy discussions. Policy on schools is now her particular brief.

Like many of those being labelled rising young stars, she is over 40: at 43, a year older than the other rising star on the education team, Stephen Byers, MP for Wallsend.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now