How We Govern

School governors and trustees have three core functions:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
• Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
• Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well

Governance at NCEA Trust

Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

The structure is made up of Members, Trustees and Governors.

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There are three Trust committees; Finance, Operations and Risk (FORC), Achievement and Standards (ASC) and Endowment Trust (ETC).  There are local governing bodies for Bishop’s Primary and Castle Schools and an AIB for Duke’s School (see explanatory note below).  Terms of Reference for all committees are given here. The Terms of reference for the local governing bodies are held within the Scheme of Delegation.


The Members, Trustees and Committees are given below:

Rachel Scheffer Appointed by Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education
Dennis Handley Representing the Bishop of Newcastle
Peter Robinson Representing Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education
Rory Wilson Appointed by Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education
in consultation with Northumberland Estates
John Brearley Chair of Governors

John Brearley Chair, Member appointed
Richard Bishopp Member appointed
Martin Browell Parent Elected
Alex Cox Member appointed
Natalie Fountain Member appointed
Alan Hardie Ex-officio
Jeff Hope Co-opted
Paul Johnson Member appointed
Marc Kelly Co-opted
John Marshall Vice Chair, Member appointed
Mina Munns Member appointed
Stephen Purvis Member appointed

Stephen Purvis Chair of FORC
Alison Alden CFO (non-voting)
John Brearley
Alex Cox Chair of ETC
Alan Hardie CEO/Accounting Officer (non-voting)
Marc Kelly
John Marshall

Richard Bishopp Chair
Natalie Fountain
Alan Hardie CEO
Marc Kelly
John Marshall

John Marshall Trustee (Chair)
Richard Bishopp Trustee
Dave Cookson  Commissioner for Secondary Education, Northumberland County Council
Alan Hardie Trustee and CEO
Jeff Hope Trustee
Mina Munns Trustee
Stephen Purvis Trustee
Paul Rickeard Director of Education, Newcastle Diocese
Rachel Mays English specialist support

Governance at Bishop’s Primary School, Castle School and Duke’s Secondary School

The NCEA Trust Board have agreed to form Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) for Bishop’s Primary School and Castle School.  What this means is that Bishop’s and Castle will now each have a governing body which will focus on the individual school.  The LGBs will be accountable for their decisions to the Trust Board.  The first meetings of the LGBs will take place in the spring term 2020.

Duke’s Secondary School
In order to secure rapid improvement for Duke’s School, Trustees have appointed an Academy Improvement Board which meets monthly.



The Chair of the Board of Trustees, John Brearley, may be contacted by email at or in writing:
The Board of Trustees
c/o Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust
Josephine Butler Campus
Academy Road
NE63 9FZ

Alternatively, Trustees may be contacted via Lesley Dalby, Governance Manager, on 01670 816111 ext 368