Richard Varha came into being as a result of the growing population of Dimbaza and the communities quest for more educational opportunities for their children. The communities of Dimbaza organised themselves and held several meetings with the Ciskei Department of Education and presented their plight. The school was formed as part of the “Back-to-School” campaign.

The school was constituted in 1991 and had 5 classes (Standard 6 to Standard 10). At that time, the school was known as Samkelekile Secondary School and was housed at the building of Kwasa Primary School in Dimbaza. The principal then was the Mr W.M. Besman. The new name of Richard Varha Senior Secondary School was adopted along with the school badge and motto “Developing Humanity through Education.” The school then moved into its new premises in 1993 which it currently occupies up to today.

The principal, Mr Besman, passed away in June 2003 and the reins were held by Acting Principal Mrs E.D. Magengenene until the end of 2003. Mr M.P. Myeki was then appointed as principal of Richard Varha from 2003 to 2006. Mr Myeki was pivotal in the drafting of the mission and vision of the school before taking up a higher post in the Education Department. In 2007 Mr Myeki was succeeded by Mr Z.H. Sinuka, who is the current principal of Richard Varha. Under Mr Sinuka, it became evident that the school was outgrowing its curriculum and there was a great demand for the expansion of Richard Varha’s curriculum. This resulted in the building of a new technical wing in 2012 which started operating to accommodate the introduction of Electrical Technology, Mechanical Technology, Civil Technology and Engineering Graphics and Design to the curriculum of the school.

The current principal, Mr S.J. Adonis, took over in 2016 and has been responsible for the introiduction of Matric Revision camps and also the introduction of the prefect system in 2017 with the first Head Prefects being Luyolo Gqezengele and Anesiphiwo Tyelo along with their deputies Smurts Beja and Simbonile Nomlose.

Currently, Richard Varha is a co-educational school having about 480 girls and 440 boys. Richard Varha currently holds the status of being a Dinaledi school meaning that it is a school which excels in Mathematics and Science. Richard Varha currently carries its standard proudly as being the top school in the Dimbaza area and one of the eminent schools in the King William’s Town District, surpassing some of the “former Model C” schools.