THE FORMER head of Ofsted is coming to Thurrock Council to lead a six-month investigation into education in the borough.

Christine Gilbert was invited by the authority to lead the “commission” which will start on March 18.

Ms Gilbert, who became chief inspector of the school’s watchdog in 2006, will take a close look at what the authority is doing right and wrong as well as pointing out where improvements can be made.

Oliver Gerrish, councillor responsible for education, pictured, said the council wanted to drive up standards in schools.

He said: “This is the start of an exciting time for education in the borough.

“We are on the way up, we are heading in the right direction of having every one of our schools judged ‘good’ or better by Ofsted.

“Christine Gilbert’s commission will take a very close look at where we are and what we are doing.

“I am sure she’ll find much that is good, but we chose her to head things up because I am equally confident that she won’t pull any punches.”

Mr Gerrish said he wanted to make sure schools in Thurrock continued to improve.

He added: “We want to know what we’re doing right – so we can do more of it – and what we’re not – so that we can change it.

“We want our schools to learn best practice from each other, to share and celebrate their successes and to be open to new ideas.

“I don’t want to be embarrassed by being labelled one of the worst three areas in the country for primary education.

“It’s not true now and I don’t want it to be true ever again.”