The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) (1964 – 1990) was abolished by the
Education Reform Act, 1988. This ended an unitary system of education that had
existed in inner London for over a hundred years.
This thesis examines the question of the political reasons and motivations for the
ILEA’s abolition, considering both the move to the right by the Conservative party
which abolished it, and the move to the left by the Labour party. In effect the
polarisation of politics left little room for the form of pragmatic politics and policies
which had enabled the ILEA to develop under previous Conservative and Labour
administrations. Under these conditions the radical step to abolish the ILEA became
Given this political climate the question is asked as to whether there were good
grounds for the abolition of the ILEA, over and above ideological considerations.
Two strategies are adopted to answer this question. The first examines the history
and processes of policy making with reference to the support for Special
Educational Needs and Adult, Further and Higher Education. These may be
considered ‘success stories’ while a third case, that of William Tyndale, considers
whether there were also weaknesses in the ILEA’s policy processes. The second
examines the claims that the ILEA tolerated low standards in education and failed
to give value for money.
It is concluded that the evidence does not sustain the claims made against the ILEA
and that therefore, its demise can better be explained by the polarisation of politics
at the time.
|Date of Award||1 Jun 2009|
|Supervisor||Hugh Lauder (Supervisor)|
- Educational politics
- policy of Inner London Education Authority