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Report to Stakeholders 2020


Chief executive's introduction

Welcome to our report to stakeholders, which provides a summary of developments in RLT over the past 12 months.

Paul James

About RLT

RLT is a multi-academy trust that is committed to excellence and collaborative working. As at December 2020 we are eight secondary schools; sixteen primary schools; a primary school in pre-opening; and a SCITT provider (school-centred initial teacher training) within Oxfordshire and Swindon. This includes the 2 secondary schools that have joined RLT in the past year; The Oxford Academy and Gosford Hill School. 

Our schools


  • The Cherwell School
  • Wheatley Park
  • Chipping Norton
  • Kingsdown
  • The Marlborough CofE
  • The Swan School
  • The Oxford Academy
  • Gosford Hill


  • Cutteslowe
  • Wolvercote
  • Tower Hill
  • New Marston
  • Edith Moorhouse
  • Garsington CofE
  • Horspath CofE
  • Madley Brook
  • Witney Community
  • Middle Barton
  • Beckley CofE
  • Rose Hill
  • Sandhills
  • Larkrise
  • Seven Fields
  • Charlbury
  • Windrush (opening September 2021)

RLT in numbers

  • RLT in numbers
  • 12,009: Total number of pupils
  • 3,822: in Primary Schools
  • 8,187: in Secondary Schools
  • 24: Schools
  • 16: Primary Schools
  • 8: Secondary Schools
  • 1: SCITT
  • 112: Teachers currently in training
  • 1,707: Staff

What have we focused on in 2019-20?

During the year our focus has been on the following areas:

  • Delivery of the Strategic Education Plan (curriculum, professional development, leadership and governance)
  • Ensuring high standards of school performance
  • Supporting schools through the Covid pandemic

What are we proud of?

  • Our people: the way our schools, colleagues, governors, children and young people continue to manage the challenges of Covid and the way the Central Team has been able to support them. In particular developing online/remote learning and committing support for our most vulnerable pupils and families
  • Supporting the quality of the curricula in our schools
  • Improved support for professional learning, development and wellbeing of staff
  • 6 Ofsteds – All Good (4 of which improved their judgement) 
  • Further support for developing high performing and healthy cultures in schools
  • Staff survey – over 1,000 responses where 95% would recommend working in their school
  • Managing the financial challenges posed by the funding of schools
  • Large investment in IT and broadband improvements
  • Investing in significant capital projects to improve the condition of, and day to day experience within of our schools
  • Growth of the SCITT training more teachers for Oxfordshire schools
  • Launch of our Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion strategy
  • Recruitment, commitment and work of our school governors

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What have we learned in 2019-20?

We continue to learn about how we can work together in a way which enables us to be ‘better together’ and really benefit from being part of a multi-academy trust. Our schools are doing some amazing things and we are improving the way that we share these and enable schools to do what is right for them in their context.

Like many organisations, our schools have also learnt a great deal as a result of the Covid pandemic. Some things, like the use of online learning, online training and meetings, or even certain routines and arrangements now in place many schools, may stay in some form in the future.

Also, as some things have stopped due to Covid it has allowed us to reconsider what are the most important things to focus on, and this too will help us to improve in the months and years ahead.

Some things, like the use of online learning, online training and meetings, or even certain routines and arrangements now in place many schools, may stay in some form in the future.

What next?

It is a really exciting time to be part of RLT; we have grown to a size which gives us both capacity and expertise across our system. This enables us to help our schools be better faster and in a way which is sustainable for the future.

We are a Trust committed to Headteachers leading their schools  to serve their local communities (we don’t look to ‘direct’ from the centre). We are also committed to collaborative alignment over the things that make the most difference, whilst ensuring autonomy to enable innovation. This means that the best things keep getting better and can be shared.

We will continue to develop this work, investing in the development of our people to enable them to provide the best possible education for our children and young people.

We also understand our responsibilities to support the wider education system in both Oxfordshire and Swindon in partnership with local and central government and with other schools and Trusts.


The River Learning Trust
Central Team Office
c/o Gosford Hill School
Oxford Road

01865 558727

The River Learning Trust, which is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee, is registered in England and Wales with a registered company number 7966500. 

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