About the College

Governance

Chair of Governors

MRs Gostelow

Since Horizon Community College opened in 2012, our aim has always been to provide a first class education for all our students. The college is part of HCAT, a cross-phase multi academy trust based in Barnsley. The HCAT trustees are the governors of the Trust’s schools, but delegate many of their responsibilities, particularly around school improvement, to local governing bodies.

Our role as local governors is to agree the college’s vision and strategy, and offer supportive challenge to staff who provide the best possible education for our students, equipping them to move successfully on to the next stage in their lives. We scrutinise the college’s improvement priorities, hold regular business and training meetings, and investigate in detail our link areas.

We are immensely proud of what our staff offer in terms of the breadth and ambition of the curriculum they teach, and also the part they play in the wellbeing of students, in addition to offering personal development opportunities and extra-curricular activities.

We are proud of our students who have shown maturity and commitment throughout the pandemic both in the college and when engaged in remote learning during lockdowns. We’re so pleased that families have worked in partnership with us to ensure that their children’s experience at secondary school has been positive and fruitful.

All local governors are invested in the success of our students. We are proud that the college is inclusive and outward-looking, forward-thinking and pro-active, collaborative, and a learning community at every level. We value our staff and students, and our wider stakeholders, as we work together to improve opportunities, skills and life chances for our young people in Barnsley.

OUR GOvernors

Chair of governor

MRS GOSTELOW

Local Authority

Responsible for

Leadership and Management, including Governance
Staffing and Finance

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2023

End of Term – June 2027

Vice Chair of governor

MRs Charlesworth

Co-opted

Responsible for

Governor Training
Health and Safety
Staff workload and welfare Policies

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2023

End of Term – June 2027

Governor

Mrs Ledger

Parent

Responsible for

Quality of Education

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2023

End of Term – June 2027

Governor

Mr Lynch

Foundation
Horizon Archbishop Holgate Trust

Responsible for

Behaviour and Attitudes, SEND

Governor Term

Appointed -November 2020
End of Term – November 2024

Governor Report

Review of the Year 2022-2023

The Horizon Local Committee met regularly throughout the year. In September 2022 we held a special meeting where our yearly training on safeguarding for governors was delivered and where we agreed our priorities for the year, which were subsequently added to the College SIP. In June 2023, our meeting considered the progress we had made against our priorities, including what we had done well and what could be improved in our governance practice. Our discussions covered issues such as getting the balance right between support and challenge and looking at a skills audit of the local governing body. 

 Local governors monitored progress against the SIP and ensured we carried out our responsibilities in line with the College’s vision and strategy. We did this by holding  at least one business meeting and one training meeting per term. Business meeting agendas covered the Principal’s report including data and commentary on safeguarding, attendance, staffing, QofE, behaviour, policies etc.  

 Training meetings allowed us time to explore areas of the College in more detail, for example we held sessions on SEND, literacy, and personal development with presentations by staff followed by a Q&A. 

 Our knowledge was enhanced by the inclusion of link governor reports; governors visited the College and followed an agreed protocol when examining more deeply their link area, for example safeguarding, QofE, and behaviour and attitudes. 

 In these ways we feel that we know the College and can check that improvement is happening in the necessary areas. 

 Governors attended events in the College, for example the Open Day in September, dance shows, and celebration of achievement evenings. Governors also sat on panels, including student discipline committees, and college contract meetings. 

 Continuous Professional Development is very important to us as governors and we access external training/development sessions from HCAT, the local authority, and the BGA, as well as considering information and data that come from the Barnsley Alliance and the Schools Forum. In that way we understand the wider context of the College. We are an outward-looking group and are aware of issues that are important to the College’s stakeholders. 

 Horizon Community College became an academy in 2019 after choosing to join HCAT because their vision and values were aligned to ours. HCAT is a growing MAT within Barnsley and has just updated its terms of reference and scheme of delegation to clarify the roles and responsibilities of trustees and local committee members. We feel that by joining the right trust the College has the advantages of belonging to a larger organisation without losing our identity. 

 We are very proud of our dedicated staff, led by Mrs Huddart, and our students, who are embracing with enthusiasm the exciting offer given to them in the five years they are with us. Both staff and students have been through three extremely difficult years and have embraced change with resilience and determination. 

 As we move to be a local committee rather than a local governing body, we too are embracing change. We have said goodbye to old friends Dave Kennedy and Sandra Creeton who were founder governors of the College in 2012, and Tom Knowles and Sarah Harrison who have been excellent staff governors. We also said goodbye to Yiannis Koursis, who is moving from his role as the very successful Head of Barnsley College to Bedford. We wish our former colleagues well and look forward to the future and working with new local committee members. 

Becoming a Governor

College governors have a varied and important role

helping the school run effectively and to have a positive impact on student outcomes.

They have 3 core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Overseeing financial performance of the college and ensuring money is well spent
  • Holding the Principal and leadership team to account

The role of the Governor

The governor role is strategic rather than operational. Governors don’t get involved with the day to day running of a school, instead supporting and challenging the school’s leadership team to drive college improvement.

Governors usually attend around 6 meetings a year. Being a college governor is a commitment and a responsibility, but offers you the chance to see first-hand the impact you can make in improving education for children in your community.

Horizon is part of HCAT Multi-Academy Trust.  The trust board is the governing body but delegates many functions to the local governing body chiefly around school improvements.

Who can be a School Governor?

You don’t need to be an experienced professional – it’s about attitude as well as expertise

School governing boards need skilled people to help them run effectively, but both hard and soft skills are needed around the table.

Schools need skills, such as problem solving or negotiation or team working as much as specific expertise. 

All governors are subject to an enhanced DBS check as part of College Safeguarding Protocols.

Governors do not need specific skills to undertake their duties on the governing body.  However, in certain areas the school can benefit from a governor who has a specific expertise they can bring to the work of the governing body.

The governing body need to ensure governors have the necessary skills and commitment, including to challenge the school to bring about improvement, and hold leaders to account for performance.

Check the Department for Education’s guidelines about the requirements for becoming a governor.

Types of governors on the Horizon Governing Body

Co-Opted Governors

appointed by the governing body

FOUNDATION/TRUST GOVERNORS

appointed by The Holgate Trust

PARENT GOVERNORS

elected by parents of children registered at the school

STAFF GOVERNORS

include the Headteacher by virtue of their role, teaching and support staff

LA GOVERNORS

nominated by the Local Authority, appointed by the governing body

Expectations

You can expect

What we expect

To be offered training opportunities

To have a mentor during your first year as a governor

To have a better understanding of how the college works

To work and be part of a team making the best decisions for college staff and students

To attend 85% as a minimum, of all local governing body meetings

To attend specific training to enhance your own personal governor development e.g. Health & Safety Training

Show commitment and challenge to the college e.g. by asking questions

Show loyalty and support to the College

Attend meetings with your link area staff and produce a report on the findings annually for the local governing body

The Seven C's of a Governor

Committed

Devoting the required time and energy to the role and ambitious to achieve best possible outcomes for young people. Prepared to give time, skills and knowledge to developing themselves and others in order to create highly effective governance.

Confident

Be of an independent mind, able to lead and contribute to courageous conversations, to express their opinion and to play an active role on the board.

Curious

Possess an enquiring mind and an analytical approach and understanding the value of meaningful questioning.

Challenging

Providing appropriate challenge to the status quo, not taking information or data at face value and always driving for improvement.

Collaborative

Be prepared to listen to and work in partnership with others ad understanding the importance of building strong working relationships within the board and with executive leaders, staff, parents and carers, pupil/students, the local community and employers.

Critical

Understanding the value of critical friendship which enables both challenge and support, and self-reflective, pursing learning and development opportunities to improve their own and whole board effectiveness.

Creative

Able to challenge conventional wisdom and be open-minded about new approaches to problem-solving; recognising the value of innovation and creative thinking to organisational development and success.

How can I become a Horizon Community College Governor?

If you are interested in becoming a Horizon Community College Governor, now that you know more about the role, you will need to write to the Chair of Governors via Karen Cooper at the college and tell us about yourself, to:

  • Demonstrate evidence of the appropriate skills and experience you have and how these can be used on the governing body
  • Express your willingness to undertake training to develop your skills
  • Make a commitment to the values of the college
  • Be able to give sufficient time to contribute effectively to the work of the governing body

If you wish to have an informal chat about the role, please feel free to contact the Chair of Governors via Karen Cooper at the College.

Important Documents

Governor Information 2021-2022

Register of additional interest

Governor Information 2020-2021

Governors Calendar

Meeting & Training Schedule 2023 - 2024

Autumn Term 2023

Focus: Mandatory annual governor safeguarding refresher training including prevent, mental health etc., KCSIE 23/24

Governor priorities for 2023-24, governor link update

How Horizon Local Committee will function

Focus: Principal’s report; L&M, Staffing, QofE, PP, B&A, PD, Safeguarding, SEND Update

Summer results & impact for 23/24, college priorities 23/24

Focus: Principal’s report; HR, Finance & Budget, H&S report, risk

Spring Term 2024

Focus: Principal’s Report; L&M, Staffing, QofE, PP, B&A, PD, Safeguarding

Focus: Principal’s report; HR, Finance & Budget, H&S report, risk

Summer Term 2024

Focus: Principal’s Report; L&M, Staffing, QofE, PP, B&A, PD, Safeguarding

Focus: Principal’s report; HR, Finance & Budget, H&S report, risk

Focus: Governor performance review of the year, WWW, areas for improvement

Important Information

Dear Parents/Carers

Please note the College is open today and Year 11 will be expected on site for their Mock Examinations. However, for Years 7 to 10, if you cannot get your child to school safely today, then please ensure that they access remote learning via Teams. For safeguarding purposes, please email in to info@horizoncc.co.uk if your child is not going to be in and will be accessing Teams.

Any child who accesses Teams remotely today will receive a present attendance mark of a B code (educated off-site). If your child does not access Teams then they will be classified as absent Please note that attendance codes will be updated throughout the day.

Mrs Huddart

Principal

College Calendar

  • Tuesday 12th December – 14th December – School Show
  • Tuesday 16th January – Y8 Parents Evening
  • Tuesday 6th February – Y11 Parents Evening 2
  • Tuesday 27th February – Y9 Parents Evening
  • Tuesday 16th April – Y10 Parents Evening
  • Tuesday 30th April – Y7 Parents Evening

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