The education legacy of Wandsworth tories

Sitting at the heart of Boris Johnson’s current administration is a lesser known but equally crucial figure compared to Dominic Cummings, Edward Lister. Whilst Cummings was responsible for much of the Gove project in the 2010 coalition government, Lister cut his teeth in local council politics as the first Chair of Education in Thatcherite Wandsworth after the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority, (ILEA) in 1990. He went on to become leader of the Council, adviser to the Johnson mayoralty and now serves as adviser to the prime minister.

Lister was highly critical of the ILEA. He wrote 1991 paper for the Centre for Policy Studies, the right wing think tank.
His paper contained the roots of current Tory thinking on free schools and academies. ‘We must stop trying to ‘plan’ the education service at national and local level. We must regard the surplus of places as an asset rather than a liability the central means of creating the market conditions where genuine variety can be created.’

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