Sudden retirement of St Albans’ Nicholas Breakspear school head

Phil Jakszta

Phil Jakszta - Credit: Archant

FROM September a St Albans secondary school will enter into partnership with an academy in Stevenage after the sudden departure of its current headteacher.

The announcement that Phil Jakszta, 55, who has been at Nicholas Breakspear School for eight years was taking early retirement due to ill-health came just two days before the end of term.

He will be temporarily replaced by deputy headteacher Bernie Whittle while the current headteacher of John Henry Newman Catholic School in Stevenage, Clive Mathew, has been appointed as executive head due to his “impressive track record and wealth of experience”.

Chair of governors Linda Graham said: “He [Mr Jakszta] has not been well and he has decided to take early retirement. He has not been well for a few weeks.

“We have gone into partnership with John Henry Newman and obviously we are all delighted by that. It is an outstanding school and we will certainly benefit from them.”


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John Henry Newman has been chosen to support Nicholas Breakspear as it is thought under Mr Mathew’s leadership they will be able to continue to grow and gain improved results.

The arrangement will last for 12 months and over the holidays meetings will be held to finalise the details before the start of the new academic year.

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Ms Graham added: “We are really pleased because nothing is worse than being without a headteacher for a lengthy period so it works well in that respect.”

Nicholas Breakspear also plans to hold a farewell mass to say goodbye to Mr Jakszta and thank him for his work at the Colney Heath Lane school since his arrival in 2005 from St George’s School in Maida Vale where former head Philip Lawrence was stabbed to death in 1995.

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