An Oxfordshire teacher training organisation has been told that it remains outstanding following an inspection by Ofsted.

Oxfordshire Teacher Training (OTT) received top marks when the national education standards body inspected earlier this summer.

It was also rated outstanding at its previous inspection in 2017.

Ofsted’s most recent report described OTT’s programmes as “truly exceptional at all levels” and praised a “passion, commitment and relentless determination to give prospective teachers the best possible start to their careers”.

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It added: “The programme’s clear focus is not limited to trainees achieving qualified teacher status, but that they should be well positioned for long and illustrious careers.

Witney Gazette: Oxfordshire Teacher Training students

“Programme innovations come about as part of leaders’ tireless passion and deep commitment to training teachers as the lifeline of the wider sector.

“This provider is at the cutting edge. The programme is superb preparation for the realities of teaching.”

OTT works with a wide range of schools across Oxfordshire and surrounding counties and is part of River Learning Trust, a multi academy trust that operates 28 schools in Oxfordshire and Swindon.

It is a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) provider, meaning training takes place while graduates are placed within a school.

Offering full-time and part-time programmes for people looking to teach in primary, secondary, special and nursery schools, OTT is based at The Cherwell School in North Oxford but has regional hubs in Banbury and Henley.

Witney Gazette: OTT Patrick Garton

Patrick Garton, Director of OTT, said he was delighted with the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection.

He added: “At a time when there are significant challenges for schools in recruiting new teachers we are really proud of the fact that nearly 100 per cent of our trainees are going straight into local classrooms and will immediately be making a difference to children and young people in our region.

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“What is also significant to note is that despite a decline in applications for teacher training courses nationally we are continuing to recruit really well – people seem to be attracted to our model which is led by schools and experienced teachers and gives trainees a genuine preparation for starting out in this challenging but incredibly rewarding career.”

Witney Gazette: Oxfordshire Teacher Training students

The Department for Education’s own teacher training figures show that just under 29,000 graduates signed up to train in 2022-23, down from 36,000 in 2021-22 and 40,000 in 2020-21.

The figures also showed that only 59 per cent of the required number of secondary trainees signed up to train in 2022-23, down from 79 per cent the previous year.

Applications to train with OTT in 2024 will open in October 2023 and full details will be available on its website –