Cognita is a diverse and growing group of more than 88 schools across 12 countries including 40 based in the UK. Horizon International School was purchased by Al Najah Education eight years ago as a means of offering an all-through educational option to students of Outstanding-rated Horizon English School (HES) which it then also owned.
Commenting on this announcement, Mr. David Baldwin, Managing Director for Cognita Middle East, said:
"Cognita is delighted to welcome Horizon International School into our global family of schools, and our fourth exceptional school here in the UAE - joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, Horizon English School and Ranches Primary School. With HIS placing such importance on community spirit, character development, focused personalised learning and wellbeing, our values are very closely aligned. We look forward to getting to know the HIS community over the coming weeks and months ahead and partnering with them in their mission where ‘Everyone Counts. Everyone Contributes. Everyone Succeeds."
The sentiments were echoed by Darren Gale, Principal at Horizon International School since September 2018, who added that the group's former owner, Al Najah, had "provided fantastic support in enabling Horizon International School to become the dynamic and admired school that it is today."
"We are excited to join the Cognita family of schools and be part of the educational expertise, collaboration and support network that it will undoubtedly bring to the HIS community. I cannot think of anyone more suitable to take our school to the next level of academic excellence."
In a joint statement issued to parents of students at Horizon International School today, Mr. Baldwin, a former Principal at Horizon English School from 2015-2018 - and Raza Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Al Najah Education, reassured parents that the addition of Horizon International School to the Cognita group would not result in significant changes to day-to-day school life, strategy or leadership.
Mr. Baldwin commented:
"Cognita confirms that the terms and conditions of HIS staff and parent contracts remain unchanged. Mr. Gale has been actively involved in our recent discussions - our priority being to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership, while identifying key areas where Cognita can add value to ongoing plans to improve the school, providing opportunities for HIS staff and families in its care. In the short term, Cognita’s plans include enhancing the learning environment, key facilities, and general areas of the school, whilst supporting Mr Gale in the current cycle of recruitment for the next academic year,identifying and securing exceptional teachers.
During Al Najah’s ownership, the school benefited from investment in innovative technology in the classrooms, outdoor play areas in the Early Years, and the refurbishment of the school reception and admin areas. Under Cognita's ownership, Horizon International School's students, and parents, can expect to benefit from further investment, as well as the additional resources and expertise that being part of Cognita, one of the world's largest school groups, naturally brings.