During a bruising appearance before the Commons education select committee, where CEC was called an “overbloated quango”, its chair Christine Hodgson admitted that £900,000 had been spent on research since it was set up in July 2015.
Ms Hodgson and chief executive Claudia Harris provoked further bemused reaction when they added that another £1,000,000 was likely to be spent on research over the next three years.
“So that is money not going to the front line?” asked Mr Halfon.
“Why do you spend money on that when you could have think-tanks, or universities, or the Department for Education doing that? Why do you need to spend £900,000 which could go to frontline careers advice, on being a think tank, which is not your role?”
Ms Harris countered that much of their research “underpins where we focus our spending – like the cold spot reports; we have got a few other reports that do same thing”. CEC also has to “evaluate our work”.