Papers of Nigel Spearing

Scope and Content

Various papers collated by Spearing during his political career mostly regarding government polices on education covering various topics including education of children with special needs; educational reform; comprehensive education; discipline and violence in schools; Raising of the School Leaving Age (ROSLA) projects; the Inner London Education Authority especially its reorganisation in 1980; reform of 16+ examinations; the abolition of the HM Inspectorate, burdens on schools, private companies managing schools, and school governing bodies. Also includes some papers regarding his role as a member of the Socialist Education Association (SEA).

Administrative / Biographical History

Nigel John Spearing was born in London on 8 October 1930 and was educated at Latymer Upper School. Following national service in the Royal Signals, he attended St Catherine's College Cambridge, 1953-1956. Upon graduation he worked as a tutor at Wandsworth School, 1956-1968 (Senior Geography Master, 1967-1968); as Director of the Thameside Research and Development Group, Institution of Community Studies, 1968-1969; and as a Housemaster at Elliot School, Putney, 1969-1970. During this period he was active in politics and was Chairman of the Barons Court Labour Party, 1961-1963; sat on the Hammersmith Local Government Committee of the Labour Party, 1966-1968; and was a co-opted member of the GLC Planning and Transport Committees, 1966-1973.

He contested Warwick and Leamington as a Labour candidate in 1964, and was elected MP for Acton in 1970. From 1971-1974 he was the Secretary of the parliamentary Labour Party Education Group. In the February 1974 election he was defeated but returned to parliament shortly afterwards when he was elected the MP for Newham South, where he remained until he retired in 1997. Throughout his political career he was interested in educational issues.


File have been arranged in date order.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Custodial History

Given by Nigel Spearing in March 2006.

Related Material

Nigel Spearing political papers are held by the Ealing Local History Centre; a scrapbook relating his 1964 election campaign for Warwick and Leamington constituency is held by the Warwickshire County Record Office (CR4024); papers relating to his European affairs are held by the Churchill Archives Centre (ref: SPRG).