TODAY a scrutiny committee of Oxfordshire county councillors will look at the appalling education results of our seven-year-olds.

This is not an issue they can shirk or skate over, blithely accepting platitudes from education officials who have overseen a system that is clearly failing many of our children.

Education in Oxfordshire is the single most important issue the county council is dealing with.

Yes the impact of cuts is important, social care is important, combatting bed-blocking is important and the roads are important.

But if this administration is to ever achieve anything then it must be that it has corrected its education system. Today’s meeting will play an important part in this.

We believe the entire education system has grave deficiencies.

Our seven-year-olds’ basic reading, writing and maths skills are simply not good enough and the GCSE results of children who have been through our schools do not compare well to other areas — that shows problems across many years.

Our concern is that when we first began to complain the education of Oxford children was not good enough, the county council’s reponse was to shoot the messenger.

Now the report going to the scrutiny committee admits that all districts are performing comparatively poorly – and some of this dates back past 2003.

So today this scrutiny committee has a duty to do what it says on the tin: scrutinise.

We should be among the best, not the worst.