Welcome to the Oxford Summer School

Welcome to the universally acclaimed Oxford Summer School, the ‘blue riband’ training and development event of the retail calendar, run by retailers, for retailers.

Many of today’s retail leaders have experienced the School as delegates and in many cases, refer to the experience as a ‘watershed moment’ in their career.  Read more...

Take a look inside the first OSS Foundation programme that took place July 2012 and hear how it went

The Oxford Summer Schools

The Oxford Summer School is cost-effective professional retail specific talent development and this is the reason so many companies, large and small, subscribe to the schools year on year. 

OSS has been nurturing talented retailers for 90 years; many of the OSS team are retailers themselves and care passionately about the future of retail.


“Understanding yourself”

The Foundation will enable retail managers to gain an understanding of their role within the wider business, whilst helping them to develop the skills vital to ensuring their team delivers to the organisation’s standards, targets and expectations.


“Understanding the business"

The Academy will provoke retail amangers to consider how they can more successfully affect the retail environment in which they work; specifically their own performance, the performance of their team and their ability to influence the commercial performance of their part of the company. 


“Understanding your market and developing strategies”

The Masters course has been designed to position senior employees for the boardroom. The course takes delegates beyond the day-to-day issues of running a business and grants them the opportunity to consider the broader picture, to network with other senior retailers and stretch themselves in a challenging, yet supportive environment.

Countdown to the schools

  • Absolutely inspirational, definitely a pivotal moment in my career...I will take so much back from the Oxford Summer School
    Polly Dymond, Boden
  • It has been an amazing week...a truly great experience I would recommend to all in retail for further development.
    Seema Thakrar, Aurora Fashions
  • By far the most inspirational, incredible experience of my career so far whilst also giving me the opportunity to develop on a personal level.
    Kirsty Blyde, Harrods
  • Amazing week, I have learnt so much about myself. Would recommend it to anyone who is serious about retail!
    Camilla Harley, Blacks
  • A full on week which was eye opening! I feel I have learnt some extremely beneficial skills and can build on these at an early stage in my career!
    Sarah Abbot, B&Q
  • Great learning & teambuilding experience- the course was much better than others I've been to because it connected with me on a more personal & emotional level and gave me some...
    Mina Kasherova, Argos
  • Amazing, inspiring, energetic and focussed throughout. All the tasks were well organised and impacted on the whole week!
    Alicia Dickenson, M&S
  • The single most valuable thing I have done in my life. A truly awe-inspiring combination of fabulous setting, fantastic tutors and amazing teamwork. I fell in love with retail,...
    Samantha Ackland-Jones, Steamer Trading
  • It's like going to the Top Gun school for retailers.  It has been the best training and development experience of my working life.
    John Rimmer, Matalan
  • The best part for me was the speakers, just incredible to be so close to such talented business leaders.
    Keith Squibb, Polo Ralph Lauren
  • It has been a fantastic learning opportunity and I would encourage anyone wishing to widen their retail understanding and commerciality to attend.
    Tracy Venner, John Lewis
  • Exhilarating...we learnt so much in so little time. It gave me an experience and training which any workplace would find it hard to give.
    Ben Green, Gordon Brothers Europe
  • A must do, once in a lifetime experience – has changed my perception of life and work.
    Chris Iverson, Marks & Spencer
  • Extremely educational, challenging, fun, social, and the experience of a lifetime
    Eimear McLaughlin, Carphone Warehouse
  • I was initially sceptical about the true value of what we would actually take back to the work place and how I would change. However, I have truly been blown away at the impact and lasting...
    Jason McShane-Chapman, Debenhams
  • I am now able to influence the business through a better understanding of the context in which we trade.
    Lorena Sanchez, Marks & Spencer
  • Holly Hughes-Metcalf, Harrods Oxford Summer School Academy retail training and development testimonial
    Holly Hughes-Metcalf, Harrods
  • Jo Coley-Moore, Sue Ryder Oxford Summer School Academy retail training and development testimonial
    Jo Coley-Moore, Sue Ryder
  • Hayley Mead, The Disney Store Oxford Summer School Academy retail training and development testimonial
    Hayley Mead, The Disney Store
  • Robert Haining, Nike Oxford Summer School Academy retail training and development testimonial
    Robert Haining, Nike.
  • Dan Pullen, The Disney Store Oxford Summer School Academy retail training and development testimonial
    Dan Pullen, The Disney Store
  • The Masters opened my eyes to what the retail market will be like in the future, so I can prepare to meet my customers' needs.
    Jim Luck, Luck of Louth
  • I applied for the Masters scholarship because I am responsible for more areas of the business now and felt I needed the skills to be able to step out and objectively review the business and...
    Lindsay Newton, Maureen Cookson
  • The Masters allowed me to step away from the front line of the shop floor and concentrate on wider issues in a very focused manner, utilising not only industry experts, but benefiting from...
    David Allen, Owner and Operator, Gerald Boughton
  • I learned so much over the four days; more than I originally thought I would. I feel I have developed my skills in different aspects of retail, and there are already quite a few initiatives...
    Caroline Billingham, Operations Manager UK, Diesel
  • Excellent experience, excellent content and excellent opportunity to meet other retail leaders
    Melissa Kiley, Nike
  • I found the course very informative and will leave with a better level of self awareness to enable me to push my business forward
    Andy Parkin, Homebase

Our delegates come from across the retail spectrum:

Delegate Portal


Blog Posts


The 2016 OSS prospectus is here, download it now

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