Shirley Williams

Ted Wragg talks to the ex-secretary of state for education Shirley Williams has been a towering figure in British politics for over forty years. Now Baroness Williams, her views continue to challenge.

Secretary of State for Education in the Callaghan government of the 1970s, she was at the helm when comprehensive schools really began to take off. ‘If we hadn’t had the comprehensive revolution this country, we would not have anything like the skill base or the intellectual base it has today’ she says.

In an illuminating discussion, she reveals that she feels the present government exerts a ‘degree of centralised control, which I really do think actually quenches the fires of aspiration, idealism and vision’.

As a supporter of the Tomlinson report, she tells Ted she would have made her apologies and left government if she’d been forced to turn down his recommendations.

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