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Task forces to be established to place education issues in Suffolk under greater scrutiny

Endeavour House, Ipswich (11729230)
Endeavour House, Ipswich (11729230)

Key education issues, such as special educational needs, catchment areas and home schooling, will be put under greater scrutiny thanks to a series of new task forces.

Suffolk County Council previously had a scrutiny committee to question decisions made on key education issues.

But the group was dissolved in 2017 – causing concern among some councillors, who have been worried that decisions on issues such as home-to-school transport have not been assessed thoroughly enough since.

A motion was put forward by the Labour group at Thursday’s Suffolk County Council meeting calling for a new dedicated education scrutiny committee.

Although this was defeated, a deal was instead struck to set up a series of cross-party task groups for specific education issues, which will also be able to call upon experts and those in the industry.

Suffolk Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott said: “I believe we are on the same page and recognise the need for a transparent, robust scrutiny proposal. I hope this offer for proper scrutiny of education is upheld.”

Cllr Abbott added that, if the task and finish groups did not end up providing the adequate analysis of education issues, the group would return with a fresh call for a dedicated committee.

It is not yet clear when the groups will begin or what the first areas of education will be looked at, but the groups can run for as long as needed before returning with their findings.

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