Young headteacher Emma Baker, of Maltings Academy, is proud to have been named the best in Essex

A young head teacher is proud to have been named the best in Essex.

Emma Baker, head of Maltings Academy in Witham, won the Secondary Head teacher of the Year award at the Essex Teaching Awards last week.

Miss Baker, 34, who joined the school seven years ago, started as assistant headteacher before becoming head of academy last year.

She said: "Maltings was the most successful school on the night as we won three awards overall.

"It's lovely to be recognised and I feel so privileged, it's a great achievement.

"When I came to the school it required improvement and I was the driving force working with staff to raise expectations.

"I have been on a big journey with the staff, I think I have been supportive but challenging as I just want the best for the students."

The annual awards, which are in their fourth year, took place at Marconi Social Club in Chelmsford.

The Essex County Council-run event celebrates excellence in education.

The Secondary School Teacher of the Year Award was given to Lu Craker at the academy in the highly commended category.

Ian Webdale, teaching assistant at the school, was also highly commended for Teaching Assistant of the Year.

Miss Baker said: "Ian works in the technology department and he is an absolute superstar.

"He goes above and beyond and dedicates his weekends working with students, he's an amazing guy.

"Lu is also a fabulous teacher and I'm really honoured."

She said it was her mission to achieve good results in exams, but more importantly she wanted the students to be happy.

She said: "I just want the students to fulfill whatever they want to go on to do.

"I'm only 34 so I'm quite a young head, I have got a lot to learn which I recognise but we are very much a team.

"I picked up this award but I wouldn't have got it without the staff."