Headteacher of struggling secondary school in Harlesden resigns

Richard Kolka has stepped down as headteacher

Richard Kolka has stepped down as headteacher - Credit: Archant

Richard Kolka steps down from Newman Catholic College

Newman Catholic College

Newman Catholic College - Credit: Archant

The head teacher of a struggling secondary school in Harlesden who was suspended pending the outcome of an investigation has resigned from his post, the Times can reveal.

Richard Kolka has left his post at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden Road following his suspension earlier this year. In a letter, seen by the Times that has been sent to all members of staff Mr Kolka, who joined the school in 2003, puts his decision down to “a combination of circumstances”.

In January the Times reported that Mr Kolka had been temporarily removed from his role at, by the school’s chair of governors, in consultation with the Diocese and Brent Council.

A source told the Times the action was taken following a complaint by a member of staff about his conduct, however a council spokeswoman said concerns had been raised over ‘management issues’ at the school.

Mr Kolka’s resignation was made permanent at the end of last month.

The letter continues: “It seems likely at this stage that I will be retiring from the world of teaching, but not from educational life as a whole.”

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The school, formerly known as Cardinal Hindsley, has struggled in recent years.

Last year 39 per cent of pupils achieved the five A* C grades, including maths and English, falling below the government’s benchmark of 40 per cent.

However, Mr Kolka adds: “I am so proud of what has been achieved, and of the enormous progress that has been made since I arrived in September 2003 and this would not have been possible in any way without the hard work, unstinting effort and peerless teaching skills of so many of you.

“There will be a place in my heart for Newman and I will follow the school’s progress with great interest.”

A spokesman for the Diocese confirmed Mr Kolka had resigned and worked his last day on February 28.

He added that an investigation was still ongoing so could not comment further.