Please see details below of statements previously issued by NCEAT in response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

You can find all of the latest Coronavirus updates from NCEAT on our Coronavirus homepage, in the Letters and Notices area of our Trust News section and on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn).


As per the government’s ‘roadmap’ for easing the UK’s lockdown restrictions, schools will reopen to all pupils on Monday 8 March 2021.

To understand what this means for your child(ren), please see the individual communications from each of our schools/campuses below:

For Bishop’s Primary School arrangements, please refer to your child’s individual Campuses’ for further information.

In a statement this afternoon, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlined his ‘roadmap’ for easing the UK’s lockdown restrictions, beginning with the reopening of schools to all pupils by Monday 8 March.

We are currently working on a plan to ensure that we can comply with the government’s guidelines while maintaining the health and safety of all of our staff and pupils. We will communicate more information regarding specific school and campus reopening procedures to parents and carers in due course. Please continue to monitor our website and social media channels for further details.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, all NCEAT schools are open to key worker children and vulnerable children only. All other pupils will learn by remote learning. These arrangements will continue until at least 15th February, which is the Government’s review date for the current lockdown arrangements.

Like me, I am sure you will have many questions about the details of the lockdown arrangements for schools, especially around things like what will happen with exams. At the moment, the Department for Education (DfE) has not published any detailed guidance following last night’s announcement. We will add information to the new Covid-19 hub on our Trust website as soon as we have any further details from DfE. We will also continue to publish our “Lighthouse” newsletter during lockdown and send out information on our social media channels.

I know that this will be an anxious time for many families. Please be assured that schools have learned a great deal about remote learning since the previous lockdown and are able to support this much more effectively than we could at the start of March 2020. We will also continue to provide as much support as we can for families during the new lockdown, directly if we can or by using our partnerships with other organisations when we can’t do this ourselves.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Alan Hardie.
Chief Executive Officer at NCEAT.

We have taken the difficult decision to partially close Bishop’s Primary School, Castle School and NCEA Warkworth Primary School on Tuesday 5th January and Wednesday 6th January. This means that all campuses will only be open to the children of key workers who have no alternative means of childcare (please bring ID) and to vulnerable children.

For Bishop’s Primary campuses, this includes key worker children who access our 30 hours provision and our 2 year old provision. The usual opening times apply and ‘Breakfast club’ is available for children that booked via the online system.

For NCEA Warkworth Primary School, unfortunately we are not able to offer 2 year old sessions at this time. We will let you know when this provision is able to reopen. If you are a critical worker OR your child is a vulnerable pupil, please can you confirm whether he/she will be attending school tomorrow and Wednesday ASAP. We will then be in a position to let you know if we are able to offer breakfast and after school clubs.

The safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is always our main priority and this decision has been made on health and safety grounds. Your child will need to continue home learning if they are not attending school and tasks for the next two days will be available via the school website / Tapestry / Class Dojo.

As you will be aware, unions representing both teaching and support staff have advised their members not to support the full reopening of primary and special schools in Tier 4 areas. In addition, clinically extremely vulnerable staff once again have to work from home in Tier 4. Combined with staff absences for other reasons, we do not currently have sufficient staff available to open safely for all pupils.

We are sorry that we’ve had to take this decision, for the very short notice given and for the inconvenience this will cause you. We will review arrangements for the rest of the week and give you as much notice as possible about any further changes.

Bishop’s Primary School (part of NCEA Trust) is reviewing the possible impact of action by members of the National Education Union (NEU). The national action by NEU members is in response to their concerns over what they believe is insufficient action by the Government to deal with the threat of Covid-19 transmission in schools. This is an ongoing situation and it is also possible that other unions may also take separate actions.

It is currently our intent to reopen Bishop’s Primary School to all pupils as planned on Tuesday 5 January. However, it is possible that the NEU action and other possible union actions may prevent us from doing so. If this is the case, we would be open to key worker children and vulnerable children only, with all other pupils taught online.

As you will appreciate, this is a rapidly changing situation, which schools across the country are dealing with at the moment. The safety of our pupils and staff is our top priority and we will keep you fully updated with any further news and developments as we have them.

We will issue a further statement tomorrow (4 January), but felt it was appropriate to inform you today of possible impact of this action.


In line with the Government guidance issued today for secondary schools in England, Duke’s Secondary School will be implementing a staggered return plan for pupils in January 2021.

Year 11 and 13 pupils will receive remote learning via Google classroom from Tuesday 5 January and will return to school one week later than originally planned on Monday 11 January.

All other secondary students will receive consolidation work from last terms curriculum via Google classroom from 5 January, followed by remote learning from 11 January prior to their return to school on Monday 18 January.

We will be in contact with critical worker parents/carers and those parents/carers of vulnerable children on Monday 4 January to confirm whether you would like your children in school.

We appreciate that this situation is less than ideal with our young people having already lost so much school-time due to the Coronavirus, however, following the Government’s guidance in order to maintain the safety of our pupils and staff must be our utmost priority.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and will keep you updated as the situation evolves . If you have any urgent concerns, please email

Following the Government briefing this evening which announced the reintroduction of national lockdown measures from Thursday 5 November 2020, we can confirm that all Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust schools will remain open, in line with Government guidance. 

We will continue to practice social distancing measures in all of our schools and campuses and masks will remain compulsory for pupils in Duke’s Secondary School.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and will keep you updated as the situation evolves.