TROUBLED Basildon College has announced its intention to merge with neighbouring Thurrock College in an attempt to improve its fortunes.
Basildon received the third worst inspection report ever last year with eight out of 10 areas of provision unsatisfactory.
Principal Chris Chapman was suspended in March this year after more than 50 staff made complaints. A Further Education Funding Council inquiry foun a culture of intimidation at the college and called for the phased resignation of the board of governors.
The colleges hope to merge in August next year to form an institution with 11,500 students.
Basildon's acting principal John Gould said: "This decision is excellent news for the area. There is total commitment from everyone involved to develop post-16 education in Basildon and Thurrock."