WORKSOP College’s new headmaster has taught in schools across the world but he says none have been so welcoming as his new home.
Gavin Horgan, who moved to Worksop with his family from his previous post at Glasgow Academy, said he is excited about leading an ‘inclusive’ and ‘involved’ school in to the future.
“One of the first things I noticed when I came to Worksop College is how a tremendously warm school it is - both among pupils and staff,” he said.
“I want our children to be the best they can be and I don’t want it to be a selective school - it’s not what I am about.”
Mr Horgan is keen to dispel a few myths about Worksop College - namely that it is the preserve of the elite, with fees starting from £5,000 a term.
He said he is proud Worksop College is part of the Woodard family of schools - a Christian charitable organisation which offers bursaries to pupils in need.
“We do have excellent facilities here, from sports to the arts, but to maintain the quality and level of what we offer we have to charge fees,” he said.
“But I think it is a common misconception that this is a school you can only come to if your parents earn mega bucks.”
“Our children come from a variety of backgrounds - from full fee-paying boarders to pupils who are on 80-90 per cent bursaries - even one pupil on a 100 per cent bursary.”
He added: “I don’t believe there’s any school in the world that’s perfect for any child and I believe families should make their own decisions about what’s best for their child.”
“We are a non-selective school and don’t have an academic bar for entry.”
Mr Horgan, who began his teaching career in 1997, said four years in the state sector, five in two international schools and three at independent Glasgow Academy have given him an open-minded and balanced approach to education.
He also said he wants to raise the academic achievements of the school while giving pupils of all abilities the opportunity to lead fulfilling and exciting careers.
“I want my pupils to be thoughtful of others, excited about education and ready for whatever society throws at them,” he said.
“I want them to do a range of things - from going to the Ivy League universities to studying vocational courses at home or going on to work for the family business.”
He added: “By the age of 38 children of today will have done 14 different careers, and we have to prepare them for careers that haven’t yet been invented, as industries and technology are constantly evolving.”
“My role as headmaster is looking over the horizon and what is coming, and it’s a tremendous privilege to do that.”
Mr Horgan, who taught in Argentina, said he is also keen to raise the profile of language learning in schools.
“Languages in the UK have always had a second class status - it has improved over the years but is not enough - we are cheating our pupils out of the opportunity of studying or working abroad.”
He added: “I also firmly believe that state and independent sectors can work better together.”
“I also come from a background where I am very keen to do charity work and once I have settled in, I will be looking to the local community to do just that.”