'The real education secretary'

22nd July 2005 at 01:00
Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the Specialist Schools Trust, is at first glance, an easy man to underestimate. Underneath the jovial exterior is steel. Sir Cyril is one of the smartest operators in the education world and a man who can fairly claim to have changed the face of England's secondary schools. Not bad for someone who began his career advertising toothpaste.

A former Conservative activist, he was behind the creation of the original 15 city technology colleges in the 1980s and the start of the specialist school movement.But rather than join his party in the wilderness after Labour's 1997 victory, Sir Cyril used the change of government to expand his empire.

He has seen off eight education secretaries, all the time pushing the specialist revolution while continuing to persuade companies to part with their money. An adviser to the Government on academies, his success is one of the stories of Labour's time in power. For once, statistics do tell the story. In 1997, there were 240 schools with specialist status. By September, 2,382 out of the 3,400 secondaries will be specialist.

So is Sir Cyril the real education secretary?

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


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