Independent councillor for Sandown North, Debbie Andre, will lead education on the Isle of Wight.

She was announced on Wednesday night, as Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox took control of the authority - leading Team Alliance, which comprises independents and some party members.

Speaking to the County Press, Cllr Andre said: "I'm absolutely delighted to get this cabinet portfolio for children's services education and skills - something that's been very close to my heart.

"I've sat on the children's services committee for most of my first term of four years.

"I've hit the ground running and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in.

"I'm very much up for the challenge.

"We have a high number of children in care and because of the pandemic, I think that number's going to increase.

"I think it's important we focus on early intervention and that's what I'm going to be looking at."

LIVE blog from the Isle of Wight Council meeting in Newport

Her first plan is to meet those working in the sector.

She said: "I'm planing to visit all the schools on the Island.

"Covid-19 allowing, I think it's important that I go to see them for myself.

"It's important we recognise teachers as the professionals they are."

The Alliance is a diverse group of views and politics, but Debbie is confident they can work together.

"I have to say, the Alliance Team has gone from strength to strength in the last two weeks," she said.

"We have more that unites us than divides us. We will be open and transparent.

"It's healthy to have good debate but we are very much united in our wish to serve Island residents."

Cllr Andre did not comment specifically on some parents' battles to get their children into Cowes Enterprise College in September, after being allocated places at other schools, but said she would be looking at the issue of school places.

She said: "I will be looking at that as an overview for the whole Island.

"It wouldn't be right to look at things in isolation.

"I will be doing everything I can to give parents and students the choice they deserve."