RESPECTED headteacher Alison Blant has retired after 14 years at the helm.

Staff and pupils at Pitsea Junior School, in High Road, Pitsea, joined together on the school field to plant a tree to mark the start of a new era.

During her time at the school, Alison helped transform it from being rated inadequate by Ofsted to good. She said: “It has been an interesting 14 years, with lots of challenges and many successes.

“Pitsea Junior School is a great place with a wonderful staff team and a lovely family feel. I am sure the school will go from strength to strength, as I have every confidence in the staff.”