A NEW head has been appointed at Colchester’s largest secondary school.

Philip Morant School and College went back to the drawing board and re-advertised for a Head of School after a previous hunt failed to attract a candidate up to the mark.

Governors have confirmed Catherine Hutley, currently deputy head teacher at Colne Community School and College, Brightlingsea, has landed that £100,000-a-year job.

She is due to start in September.

Her appointment came after two days of intensive interviews involving teachers, parent governors, pupils and a senior Essex education advisor.

Twenty-one candidates applied of which five had interviews on the first day and three of those, including Mrs Hutley, were called back for the second day.

Staff at the 1,600-pupil school were told of her appointment on Thursday.

Neil Jones, chair of the governors’ personnel committee, said: “We are looking forward to having clarity of who the leader is and all moving forward.

“I think we can look forward to morale improving - it will be on her agenda.”

Mrs Hutley has been working at the Rembrandt Way school two days a week for the last nine months.

She was brought over to the school by Nardeep Sharma, principal of the Colne School, in a bid to improve things.

Philip Morant received an Ofsted report last May saying it “requires improvement”.

Mr Sharma’s role, also at the school two days a week, has been as executive headteacher to help raise Ofsted standards.

In February, governors at Philip Morant advertised for an “amazing” headteacher and offered a £125,000 salary.

Rob James, 48, has been acting headteacher for the school, which 400 staff, since Mr Roger Abo-Henriksen retired last summer.

Mr James announced earlier this week he has taken on a new job as head at Ramsey Academy in Halstead, starting in September.