In a letter to families, Karen Todd has said it is with a “heavy heart” she has made the decision to retire from her role on August 31, ahead of the new academic year in September.
She issued an apology the day after she shared a letter back in December which claimed the behaviour of some were exposing staff, children and relatives at an increased threat from Covid-19 through “against the law” activities.
These included weddings and mehndi nights, where Asian brides meet friends before marriages, with her letter telling families she felt: “Totally let down by a small element of the Bangladeshi community.”
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She was then absent from her role for a number of months before she returned in May following a period where she worked from home, sparking further concerns from parents and leaders within Sunderland’s Bangladeshi community.
The note says: “I have had 23 very special years at Richard Avenue, 18 of those as headteacher.
"I have dedicated my life trying to make a difference to improve the life chances of our young people.
"I have had the privilege of working with a fantastic team of dedicated staff and governors, who have been relentless in their ambition for the school community.
"Everyone pulling together to make such a difference to local families and giving children the best start in life.
"Most importantly, I will miss the children...their kindness, their humour and their innocence.
"I will, from the bottom of my heart, truly miss them. I have always loved my job.
"It has been an honour and a privilege to hold such a position and work alongside such amazing children and staff.
"You all should be incredibly proud of what you have achieved.
“Thank you to everyone and I wish all connected to Richard Avenue Primary School the very best.”