The Trust Team
dr. Kim Taylor obe - Horizons Education trust ceo
Kim brings to our Trust an amazing track record of school improvement and developing staff and future leaders. Within her career spanning 4 Local Authorities, Kim has continued to build upon successful leadership positions in secondary, special schools including residential, and as a General Inspector for Inclusion and manager of behaviour and attendance strategy.
Whilst working as General Inspector for inclusion at Cambridgeshire County Council, Kim was seconded to then Spring Common School as Interim Head Teacher (Jan 2007) with a mission to improve the school beyond ‘Causing Concern’ (2006) and special measures, and set about visiting outstanding special schools across the UK to find out what they did well and how her team could benefit, deciding to focus on the training and development of staff.
At each monitoring visit, Ofsted noted the growing impact of her leadership and growth of the team. By 2012, the school was judged to be 'Outstanding in every respect' and this was confirmed again in 2018. Kim has shown dedication to transform three special schools from special measures to outstanding and has a strong track record of international leadership and interdependencies which has supported Spring Common to build an International school. This legacy continues with a strong partnership with a school in Belgium.
Kim supported the school through academisation in 2015 and built up the Teaching School and leadership capacity to sponsor a free school by Local Authority presumption – Alconbury Weald special school (to be known as Prestley Wood Academy). Kim has been pivotal to the design and build process for both Prestley Wood Academy and the new building for Riverside Meadows – Wisbech Green, and has placed focus on this to deliver expansion of provision within Cambridgeshire for pupils with special needs and to provide expansion for the Trust.
Kim continued to build upon her strategic work in education and has continued to be invited to national groups for develop SEND policy and during the pandemic was a member of the national SEND reference group. She has continued to use her experience to support others as a system leader on a regional and national basis. Kim was awarded an Honorary doctorate in education at Anglia Ruskin University due to her expertise and contribution to education and Kim has MA in education (strategic leadership) from University of East Anglia which focussed on theoretical underpinning of leadership and school improvement and change management. Kim is a writer about equalities and has skills as a trainer and facilitator.
Kim is our CEO of Horizons Education Trust and provides support and challenge to Head Teachers of our family of Academies. She is highly respected by her peers and continues to focus on building networks and opportunities for our future leaders in the Education sector. She brought delight to our community and her family when receiving an OBE in the New Year's Honours List 2018. The OBE was in recognition of her services to education which Kim accepted on behalf of her work at Spring Common Academy and many other affiliated teams throughout her career in the education sector.
Kim follows this prolific career now at the helm of Horizons Education Trust with the mission to: “make a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families. We enrich the lives and educational experience of learners with special educational needs, preparing them for their future contributions to a dynamic society.”
Kim loves travel and visiting art galleries especially immersive Art Music and Theatre, when possible, to experience culture and visiting family.
Joanna conlon – Finance Manager
Joanna Conlon joined Horizons Education Trust as Finance Manager in March 2024.
Jon-James Panther – Operations Manager
Jon has built upon his career opportunities within our Trust. Moving from School Secretary at Spring Common Academy in April 2019, where he oversaw the management of the school office and administration. His next role was Executive Assistant at Horizons, where his management of administration expanded to all schools within the Trust and included supporting the HR function, building on his expertise in HR from a previous career as HR Adviser, supporting 50 schools.
In his role as Operations Manager, Jon manages the administration function for our schools within the Trust, oversees Human Resources processes and policy management as well as premises and estates. He is also the data protection contact for the Trust.
Whilst working, Jon has recently achieved a First for his degree in Business Management with the Open University, he also holds a Level 5 CIPD qualification and an IOSH Managing Safely accreditation.
In his spare time, Jon enjoys walking his dog Teddy and being by the water.
Esther hay - finance assistant
Esther Hay has worked at Spring Common Academy for over twenty years, starting as the School Receptionist and progressing over a number of years into her current role as the Finance Assistant. I am the first point of call for finance queries within the Trust.
Esther particularly enjoys cultivating relationships with staff and pupils across the Trust. In her role she is responsible for banking, payroll and the day to day financial management of the Trust and its Academies, whether that be processing an order of stationery for our teachers or paying an invoice for furniture and equipment to sustain an entirely new building project.
When Esther is not in the office she loves to travel and when at home, cooking and gardening are her favourite past times.
Karen brown - management accountant
Karen joined the Finance team at Horizons Education Trust in September 2023 as Management Accountant. With fifteen years' experience working as a Financial Analyst and Business Partner in the Media and Banking sectors, Karen will bring her business experience to the Trust Finance Team. She is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant (SA).
Karen has enjoyed working in the Education Finance Sector for five years. On a day-to-day basis, she will assist the Finance Manager with the preparation of the Monthly Management Accounts and Annual Budgeting/Forecasting; and in ensuring compliance with all Trust Financial Policies and Procedures.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys escaping into thriller novels.
amy spittle - trust communications executive
Amy joined Horizons Education Trust in October 2022 with a BA (Hons) in English Literature as Trust Communications Administrator, with a skill set in digital media and photography to support the maintenance and development of the Horizons Education Trust and the digital presence of our schools and the Trust.
In April 2023, Amy moved forwards in her role as Trust Communications Executive; Amy’s motto is “my inbox is always open!” She considers sharing the Academies’ success stories as the highlight of her position, in addition to ensuring that streamlined and relevant communication channels are available our growing whole school communities.
CPD support has been a highlight of working for the Trust, with Amy having undertaken training courses in “DfE Guidance and Ofsted Expectations for School Websites” and “Social Media Best Practice for Schools”. Looking to the future, Amy has recently enrolled onto an 18 month, Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprentice Course through Primary Goal and looks forward to developing the marketing and communications output of Horizons Education Trust further.
When she isn’t online or taking photos on-site, Amy can be found walking her dog Annie and spending time with her family, ideally on a beach.
Academy Leadership Team
Riverside Meadows Academy - St Neots
Co-Head Teacher - Andrew Armstrong
Riverside Meadows Academy - Wisbech Green
Co-Head Teacher - Chris Carey
Spring Common Academy
Head Teacher - Rebecca Greig
Prestley Wood Academy
Head Teacher Designate - Caroline Place
To view our (HEdT Structure March 2024) click here.
To view our (HEdT Academy Leadership Team March 2024) click here.