Report to Stakeholders: December 2020

Chief Executive Officer's introduction

Welcome to our report to stakeholders, which provides a summary of developments in RLT over the past 12 months. Please note that our first report to Stakeholders from 2019 has additional detail about our principles and the way in which RLT is structured and works, which is not repeated in this report. The previous report is available here for information: Report to Stakeholders – December 2019

New this year are some links to some of the videos our schools have produced as open day visits have been unable to take place due to the Covid pandemic. These videos are available to view, in no particular order of importance, as you scroll through this document.

Paul James

About River Learning Trust

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. More details can be found here about our schools.

Our Schools


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


Tower Hill
New Marston
Edith Moorhouse
Garsington CofE
Horspath CofE
Madley Brook
Witney Community School
Middle Barton
Beckley CofE
Rose Hill
Seven Fields
Windrush (opening Sept 2021)

The principles of the River Learning Trust are:

Commitment to Excellence

Striving for the best educational experience through continuous improvement

Everyone Learning

Creating and taking opportunities that enhance lives through evidence-based practice supporting adult and pupil learning

Respectful Relationship

Acting with care, integrity and fairness in all we do

How do we work?

The diagrams below seek to represent an outline of the support we currently offer our schools. You can click on them to see a larger version:

RLT in numbers

Total number of pupils
in Primary Schools
in Secondary Schools
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
Teachers currently in training

Hours of school improvement support to our schools 

0 +

Hours of between school collaborative development and training with colleagues 

0 +
0 +
Colleagues invovled

Hours of leadership training provided 

0 +
0 +
Colleagues invovled

Funding spent on capital investment in school buildings

£ 0

Review of 2019-2020

What have we focused on?

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
    • Committed 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

What have we learned?

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.

The Oxford Academy

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