Horizon Academy Trust provides a range of core services through its central team, which is led by our Chief Operations Officer and our Chief Finance Officer. The concept is to take the burden off school leaders so that they can focus on school improvement, the quality of teaching and keeping our children safe. School leaders work with the central team to set budgets and monitor spending, but do not get dragged into the detail of budget returns and reporting.
Likewise, the central team take the lead on compliance and risk management in a range of areas including estates and data protection.Website compliance is carried out by the central team, so that school leaders can focus on the content of their website and the celebratory aspect of being the external face of their school.Essentially, Horizon Academy Trust allows school leaders to focus on what matters most: to continually improve teaching and learning in their schools.
Estates and Facilities Management
Here at Horizon we are committed to easing the burden on our schools by providing essential core services throughout the Trust.
Our schools enjoy access to a central programme of services including building cleaning services management, grounds maintenance and health and safety advice and support. Each service is managed by a central administration team who ensure quality of service is maintained across the schools within the Trust.
- Information, advice and support during the transition to academy status and initial compliance audit
- On-site and by phone support
- 3-year property/condition funding strategy
- Assistance with Emergency Planning (e.g. Covid-19)
- Guidance on strategic services for repair and maintenance
- Asbestos management plan reviews
- Assistance with Cleaning, Catering & other Estates contract management
- Estates monitoring check lists for Business managers and Site Teams
- Assistance in the event of plant or building failure
- Assistance with major project or relocation planning
- Assistance with Budget planning
Health and Safety Support
- On-site and phone support
- Statutory compliance guidance and audits
- Accident reporting (RIDDOR) and follow up investigations
- Asbestos management plan guidance
- Risk assessments
- Fire Risk Management guidance and reviews
- Health and safety Induction guidance
- Policy support-eg Health & Safety policy, Asbestos safety policy, Fire safety policy, Managing and selecting contractors policy etc
Horizon Catering Service
Our catering provision is provided by an in-house team of experienced personnel. Our aim is to achieve a catering service which supports and responds to the individual needs of the school, making the lunchtime experience enjoyable for all our pupils and staff.
As well as the central catering service offered by Horizon, we can also support individual or groups of schools set up their own catering service using our dedicated catering team.
At a glance:
- Food hygiene policy
- Health and Safety (kitchen)
- School Food Standards
- Menu's and allergens
- Risk Assessments
- Training and support for catering staff
- Deep cleans
- Maintenance and replacement of equipment
- Financial planning and costs
Finance Advice and Support
Horizon’s finance function is led by the Chief Financial Officer who provides advice and practical support to each of the school’s finance teams. Strong financial management is a key component in any successful school.
Our focus is on providing senior staff and governors with up to date, clear and relevant information for informed decision making. Financial returns and audit services will be provided at Trust level, leaving finance staff free to concentrate on managing their budgets and maximising the use of resources.
Each school will be provided with on-site support during the joining process, along with ongoing financial training and oversight. The CFO will ensure that financial processes and procedures within our schools are robust and effective and compliant with EFA regulations and with Company and Charity Law.
At a glance:
- Access to financial expertise and training from a range of MAT staff including the Chief Finance Officer, Chief Operating Officer and accountants
- Advice on compliance with the Academy Financial Handbook and the MAT’s financial procedures
- Provision of internal and external audit service
- Financial risk audits
- Whole school efficiency reviews and support
- Access to a central team of qualified procurement specialists who will create a clear picture of your current procurement practices & provide advice on opportunities:
- Training to procure goods & services effectively
- Access to procurement savings via the MAT group agreements.
- Please note that procurement of low value or occasional items remains the responsibility of individual schools.
At Horizon we value our staff as our most important resource. As such, staff wellbeing is considered vital to the effective running of our schools.
The central HR service delivers specialist support to each school on matters of recruitment, employment law, performance management along with compliance and staff relations. The service is provided by experienced staff with a vast knowledge of school specific arrangements.
Our intention is to ensure that there are consistent HR policies across all of our schools so staff are treated fairly no matter which of our schools they work in.
If converting to an academy
- Information, advice and support during the transition to academy status and initial HR orientation
HR Advisory & Administration
- Performance management
- Employment law advice
- Absence management and reporting reviews
- Grievance and disciplinary support
- Complex casework
- Union consultation
- Workforce planning
- Staff recruitment and retention
- Processing of all contractual appointments, terminations and variations
Strategic HR Support
- Change management
- Restructuring and redundancy
- Strategic workforce planning
- Policy development
- Attracting and retaining the best staff
- Supporting staff wellbeing