The name of the principal of a new community college in Southend has been announced.

Jean Alder, who successfully managed to get Thorpe Bay School out of special measures while headteacher, will be the first principal of Futures Community College when it opens next September.

Futures comes as a result of Thorpe Bay School and Prospects College merging to create a college for students aged 11 and upwards who will be taught vocational subjects.

Mrs Alder said: "I am obviously delighted about the decision.

"It's an indication of the reality of what we are working towards. It's been difficult in some ways for people to accept that it's all going to happen.

"As we get further and further along the building process, the project becomes even more exciting. It always was exciting, but now it's even more so as we get into more in-depth planning, in terms of curriculum as well as building."

Mrs Alder has been a teacher for 33 years and has been headteacher at Thorpe Bay for almost three years.

She has pledged to listen to the aspirations of students when the new college opens so she can help them to be as successful as possible in achieving their dreams.

Futures has now been officially adopted as the name of the new college.

It had been the working title since the project was launched, but has now been rubber stamped by students.

The new college will be on the site of the current Thorpe Bay School which will close its door at the end of this school year.

While some of the existing buildings will be retained, there will also be brand new facilities.

It will be opened by Prospects Learning Foundation, an education charity that is directing £10million into the school.

Neil Bates, chief executive of the charity, said: "Prospects is delighted Jean Alder will be the first principal of Futures Community College.

"We will need strong and inspiring leadership to deliver our vision and there is no doubt Jean Alder will provide that."