EAST Lancashire's oldest school has announced the name of its new headteacher.

Dr David Hempsall 59, will leave what he has dubbed "the best job in the world" when he retires from Blackburn's Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in August, 2007, after 12 years as head.

And today the school, which dates back to 1509, announced he will be replaced by Simon Corns, who is presently deputy headteacher at St Albans School, Hertfordshire.

The 48-year-old, who was brought up in Birkdale, near Southport, has taught at the independent school for 12 years.

QEGS chairman of governors John Barker said he was confident Mr Corns would build on the "excellent foundations" Dr Hempsall had laid.

Dr Hempsall, who lives in Rossendale, has confirmed he plans to take "six months out" to consider his options when he retires, which would include "putting something back into the community".

The outspoken headteacher last year branded the country's exams system and national curriculum "a disaster" and has said he feared the education system would remain "a mess" if teachers were not allowed to be innovate or "take risks".

Mr Corns said: "I feel thrilled and privileged to have the opportunity to lead this enormously successful school."