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Long-standing teacher and community education leader retires

A decades-long link between a teacher and his work in education in Harrogate has come to an end.

Malcolm Howe, who has run Rossett Community Partnership since 2008, retired at the end of the spring term.

He joined Rossett School  following  25 years at Harrogate High School. There, he was assistant headteacher in the school whilst at the same time working as Community Education District Manager for North Yorkshire County Council.

Melissa Horberry, who has worked with Malcolm for seven years and will take over his role when the new term begins, said he has become well-known across Harrogate and beyond.

Melissa said:

Through the Community Partnership, we meet people from all walks of life coming here to learn new skills on our courses.

Combined with his previous role with Harrogate High, he has worked with thousands of students of all ages over the years.

As well as working at Harrogate High, Malcolm was in charge of the youth service in Harrogate for more than 10 years and was also heavily involved with the adult education in the town. He also played a prominent role in expanding public use of the sports facilities at Harrogate High.

Malcolm said:

It was an unusual role, working partly with the high school and partly for North Yorkshire County Council, but it worked well.

My focus was always on the needs of the community and how we could offer what they wanted. One of the most satisfying aspects was working with young students who had struggled with exams, and finding other ways for them to succeed and reach their full potential.


Jonathan Edwards, who was head of Harrogate High when Malcolm taught there, said:

I worked with Malcolm for more than 20 years. During that time, the opportunities that he provided to residents of Harrogate and district was absolutely outstanding.

He developed community programmes not just on the school site, but also in conjunction with Harrogate Hockey Club, for example; a huge development which is being sustained today. He developed partnerships with Harrogate and North Yorkshire Councils, all of which led to more opportunities for the people of Harrogate and district.

At its largest, there were 13,500 additional users going through what was Granby every week on his programmes. His contribution has been outstanding for a very long time.

“Thankfully, even though the community education programme ceased when funding was removed, the partnership he built at Rossett is now the foundation for continuing that opportunity across the district of Harrogate still further.

Although Malcolm joined Rossett School in 2008, in fact his association with the school began many years before: he completed his 10-week teaching practice there in 1979.

Over the last eight years, Malcolm has helped to significantly expand the Community Partnership. It now offers dozens of daytime and evening classes every term, with around 4,000 adult learners passing through its classrooms each year.

Malcolm added:

In the last eight years at Rossett, I’ve kept the needs of the community at the heart of everything I’ve done, and I’ve enjoyed working with other schools, community groups and people of all ages along the way.

I have always believed that schools should be there for the whole community, not just the students. Through Rossett Sports Centre, the Community Partnership and Rossett School, it has been great to see this in action and prove how well it can work.

In particular, our adult education courses don’t cost taxpayers or the school anything – they are completely self-funding, thanks to the great support we’ve had from local people.

I will miss working with the team here and the great tutors and students we have, but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and making the most of my free time.


Rossett School headteacher Helen Woodcock said:

We’re very sorry to see Malcolm leave, but he has certainly earned a long and happy retirement.

Having worked alongside him for many years, Melissa is a wonderful choice to carry on his excellent work. Malcolm leaves the Community Partnership in a very strong position and we look forward to continuing to welcome the community into our classrooms here at Rossett School for many years to come.

For more details about the new term of classes at Rossett Community Partnership, visit

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