THURROCK’S education boss plans to face up to the borough’s school woes by hosting a summit in the new year.

Cllr Oliver Gerrish, responsible for the council’s education and children’s social care department, plans to invite the Department for Education, chief inspector of Ofsted, headteachers and governors to talk about what more can be done to “accelerate progress”.

He also plans to set up and be chairman of a cross-party panel that will scrutinise schools and their governing bodies.

Cllr Gerrish made the announcement at a full council meeting last week, just a day after it was announced that Thurrock is in the bottom three for the number of good or outstanding primary schools.

Cllr Gerrish said: “On the measure of the percentage of good or outstanding schools, Thurrock’s secondary schools and special schools are in the top 20 per cent in the country.

“However, our primary schools are in the bottom five per cent. Primary schools have been the unremitting focus of our attention since taking office in 2010.

“We have made that progress by never being complacent.

“We are already working closely with the DfE and academy sponsors to deliver rapid progress in the most vulnerable schools.

“We are robustly using the powers available to a local authority to challenge underperformance.”