Bishop’s Primary School is currently one of the largest primary schools in England, with over 1,500 pupils across five campuses.

Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT) is proposing to split Bishop’s Primary School into five separate primary schools, one on each of the current campuses. This will in essence make Grace Darling, James Knott, Josephine Butler, Thomas Bewick and William Leech Campuses all individual primary schools in their own right.

Why are we proposing to make this change?

There are a number of reasons why we feel that separating the school into five separate primary schools will be of benefit both to existing and future pupils. To summarise some of the key benefits, the de-amalgamation of Bishop’s Primary School would achieve:

  • An additional £2.5 million funding over 10 years from the government to pay for new resources including IT equipment, books and materials
  • Simplified admissions system
  • Bringing schools closer to their communities while remaining part of the Trust
  • Headteacher(s) for each school

Further details of the proposed changes can be found in the letter and information leaflet below.

What happens next?

The consultation process we have to follow is set out by the Department for Education (DfE) and holding a consultation with staff, parents and other stakeholders is the first stage of this process.

The feedback from the consultation and a business case from the Trust will be submitted to the DfE, who will then make the final decision. If our request is successful, the change will be implemented from September 2021.

Additional consultation: Admissions

As part of the consultation process, we are also required to consult on school admissions for both Bishop’s and Duke’s Schools, as the proposed change will also require a change to the Admissions Policy for Duke’s Secondary School. All of the documents for this can be found below.

PLEASE NOTE: The proposed changes to admissions are procedural and there is no plan to change the number of pupils admitted to each Bishop’s campus or at Duke’s.

How can I take part in the consultation?

If you would like to ask a question about the proposal or wish to submit a comment then please email consultation@ncea.org.uk. Alternatively, click here to complete our Google Form.

The consultation will run until Friday 23 April 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)