IT WAS 5pm and Portfolio Holder for Education, Sue MacPherson had just come out of a busy day at an Adoption Conference. The admirable thing about Cllr MacPherson is how passionately she believes in her portfolio. Indeed, that morning, a freelance photographer had said to us: “Everytime you see Sue, she is rushing off to a presentation or meeting. She is so committed.”
The Heads we speak to, before they express their frustration, always qualify their statements with a compliment about Sue. In many ways, you wonder where her political career is going. One of the few “true” Tories in the Thurrock party, the Homesteads councillor must be mulling over a few things come this May and for the future.
Having said all that, we had to press Cllr MacPherson on the fallout from the failed Building Schools for the Future Bid and the comments from Head of Chafford Hundred, Chris Tomlinson. Indeed, while we had Sue, we thought we would tackle the problems at Key Stage 2 level where the borough is ranked 149/151 in the country.
Sue defended her corner robustly before racing off to her daughter’s parents evening. The arguments will rumble on and it is clear that it is going to take a massive effort to regain the confidence of the Headteachers.