SMILEY schoolchildren got the chance to question the Essex County Council chairman during a special visit.

Youngsters at All Saints Primary in Dovercourt greeted councillor Kay Twitchen for her tour of the school.

She had been invited by teacher Nigel Spencer after she wrote to congratulate him for his MBE.

Mrs Twitchen was herself awarded an OBE for services to Local Government in 2004 Headteacher Richard Hopkins, said: "It was a wonderful day.

"She was shown around the school by members of out school council, there was a question and answer session with year five and six children who asked her about her job, she had lunch in the hall with the children and then we all got together in the hall and she did a little presentartion.

"The children were particularly impressed by the car she arrived in with a little flag.

"We got an email from her after her visit and she said out of all the schools she has visited in Essex we were the smiliest school."