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 – (Mrs Huddart)
Staffing and Finance – (Mrs Huddart)

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Vice Chair of governor

MRs Charlesworth

Co-opted

Responsible for

Governor Training – (Mrs Saeed)
Health and Safety – (Mr Clark)
Staff workload and welfare – (Mrs Saeed)
Policies

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

MRS CREETON

Co-opted

Responsible for

SEND – (Mrs Proud)

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

MR Kouris

Co-opted

Responsible for

Careers and Enterprise
+ Post 16 link

Governor Term

Appointed – October 2019
End of Term – October 2023

Governor

MR Punshon

Co-opted

Responsible for

Behaviour, attitudes and attendance (Miss Collins)

Governor Term

Appointed – October 2020
End of Term – October 2024

Governor

Miss Thomas

Co-opted

Responsible for

Careers and Community Enterprise – (Mrs Harrison)
+ Post 16 link

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

MRs Gillott

Parent

Responsible for

N/A

Governor Term

Appointed – October 2021
End of Term – October 2025

Governor

Mrs Ledger

Parent

Responsible for

Quality of Education – (Mr Bowden)

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

MRs Harrison

Staff (non-teaching)

Responsible for

N/A

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

Mr Knowles

Staff (teaching)

Responsible for

N/A

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

MR Kennedy

Foundation
Horizon Archbishop Holgate Trust

Responsible for

Quality of Education – (Mr Bowden)
Staffing and Finance – (Mrs Huddart)

Governor Term

Appointed – June 2019
End of Term – May 2023

Governor

Mr Lynch

Foundation
Horizon Archbishop Holgate Trust

Responsible for

SEND

Governor Term

Appointed -November 2020
End of Term – November 2024

Governor Report

Review of the Year 2020-2021

The local governing body met throughout the academic year on Zoom. We held at least two meetings per term, one business meeting and one training and information meeting, when we were able to look at a particular area of the work of the College in more detail.

We are part of HCAT. The trustees are the governors of the College and we follow the Trust’s scheme of delegation which clarifies our roles and responsibilities. Partnership working within the MAT has been of great benefit to us.

Opportunities for governors to visit the College in person were restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we continued to meet with staff virtually, for example to discuss our link areas. Staff sent information to governors via email and videos so that we stayed in touch with events and initiatives in the College. We are incredibly proud of our staff and students for their character and resilience, their rapid and flexible response to changing situations and the teaching, learning and safeguarding that happened during the year.

Student Discipline Committees were held in the College when parents were unable to access them virtually.

In our business meetings we received the Principal’s report with data dashboard, and information about progress against the College’s priorities. We were able to carry out our compliance role in regard to risk assessments and policies.

Our training information meetings covered personal development, the quality of education, SEND & Inclusion, and behaviour and attitudes.

All governors have a link area , follow an agreed protocol and feed back to the local governing body.

All governors subscribe to our Code of Conduct; there is an expectation that we prepare for and attend all LGB meetings and attend training for our own personal development. Training is available from HCAT, the local authority and the Barnsley Governors Association.

The local governing body is committed to the principles and values of inclusion and diversity. Governors come from a range of backgrounds and experience; this adds richness to our discussions and helps us to have more informed decision-making.

Sadly this year the Horizon Nursery had to close. We pay tribute to the staff who stayed until the end and ensured that the children had the best experience possible.

We also said farewell on his retirement to our founding principal Nick Bowen, who set up and opened the College in 2012, but we look forward with optimism and excitement to the future under the leadership of Mrs Huddart.

Becoming a Governor

The role of the 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 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 Links October 2021

Register of additional interest

Governor Information 2021-2022

Governor Information 2020-2021

Governors Calendar

Meeting & Training Schedule 2021-2022

Autumn Term 2021

Covering; Safeguarding/Prevent Refresher, Sexual Abuse / Harrassment.

Governor Review of the Year – WWW, areas for improvement, Governor priorities for 2021-22, Governor link update.

Covering: Principals report, results, recovery plan, full data dashboard.

Covering: Teaching & Learning, Curriculum, Early Careers Teaching, Health & Safety.

Spring Term 2022

Covering: Principal’s Report, full data dashboard

Covering: Personal Development / Student Passports, Careers / Community Enterprise updates, Alumni Initiative, Post 16, Mental Health.

Covering: SEND / Disadvantaged / Inclusion / Additional Needs / Pupil Premium, Health & Safety.

Summer Term 2022

Covering: Principal’s Report, full data dashboard

Covering: Behaviour & attitudes. Updates from areas covered this year.

Health & Safety.

Covering: Governor review of the year, WWW, areas for improvement.