Cllr Peter Wallis points out some of the issues that we need to investigate over the coming year. Yes, we are a top performing education authority, but we have significant pressures that we need to deal with. The five selective schools (and the partially selective Greenshaw) provide the spine for some of the best results in the country. We need to ensure that every child has the opportunity for the very best education. We will look at the role of the Education Authority to ensure that it is performing the role that is required by schools and parents, whilst not involving itself in areas that are best dealt with elsewhere.

Special Educational Needs provision is a particularly acute problem with a major increase in the number of statements for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We need more provision within the Borough. At the moment, the Authority is spending a considerable amount of money for private school provision in Kent, Surrey and Hampshire and the budget for transporting children to these schools is overspent by hundreds of thousands of pounds.

This group will also seek innovative ways to protect and enhance our library services and adult learning. Education does not have to stop at 21. Whether you are a teacher, parent or student, let us have your views by going to