A headteacher described as an “amazing” man died as a result of self-harm, an inquest heard.

Kevin McKellar, of Hillfield Park, Muswell Hill, was found hanging at his home by a friend on August 24 last year.

The 48-year-old, who was the headteacher of Hendon School, in Golders Rise, was signed off work after a manic depressive episode in May.

UPDATE: 'He made the school what it is today'

He was also a recovering alcoholic who had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Doctors decided Mr McKellar was well enough to go back to work, but he was told during a meeting with governors on August 21 that teachers had made “allegations” against him.

The exact nature of the accusations was not revealed during the inquest.

Speaking at the inquest, doctors outlined their reasons for recommending Mr McKellar should return to work.

Dr Alexis Cambanis, a GP at Dukes Avenue Practice in Muswell Hill, said: “He spoke very highly of his job, it was critical for him to get back to work because being a headteacher defined him.”

Dr Jonathan Lubin, an occupational health doctor, said: “He had no suicidal thoughts and he was sleeping well. He had no agitation, no signs of mania.

“He wanted to go back to work to clear the air. Nobody discussed that he might not be able to go back to work until the investigation had been completed.”

The court was told Mr McKellar had been offered two terms' salary and a good reference at the meeting, and had also been given a letter.

In a statement read out to North London Coroners Court today, his friend Colin Croly said: "I said he should have a friend with him, as well as the union rep, at that meeting. I helped him send an email to the school requesting that but it was declined.

“He phoned me afterwards and he was in tears. He said 'they don’t want me at Hendon anymore'.

“There were allegations from staff members and he said he was very upset. I asked him if they mentioned everything he achieved at Hendon. He said in a quiet voice, nothing.

“He seemed very down.”

Mr McKellar's body was discovered by his friend Adrian Brown.

Mr Brown told the inquest: “He was ashamed and upset by the allegations. He thought it was the end of him.

“Being a headteacher was his life’s work.”

His family members, who were present at the inquest, queried whether he was really well enough to go back to work given that the letter had tipped him over the edge.

Andrew McAlpine, chairman of governors at the school, said: “A doctor recommended he shouldn’t be alone when he received the letter and they should keep in touch to make sure he was alright afterwards.

“What we were about to tell him would have shocked anybody. We were in a difficult position. We were told he was well enough to go back to work but we had to investigate the allegations.”

Coroner Andrew Walker said he died as a consequence of an act of self harm, adding: “He was dependent on his job. Anybody would have found this a colossal blow.”

Mr McKellar, a father, was a keen painter and was planning on holding a fundraising event to sell his art to raise money for the secondary school.

He began working at the school nine years ago and is credited with taking it out of special measures, before transforming it “beyond recognition”.

Under his leadership, by 2011, Ofsted inspectors gave it the education watchdog's highest 'outstanding' rating and named it one of the “best comprehensives in Barnet”.

Students say Mr McKellar banned “grey, black and brown” from the school and helped turn it into a place that was “full of happiness, laughter and atmosphere”.

After his death last year, his daughter, Lili McKellar, said: “My dad was an amazing man, father and headteacher. Words cannot express how much he will be missed.

“He loved Hendon School and its pupils with all his heart.”