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.

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 spent.

Governance at NCEA Trust

There are local governing bodies for the Ashington primary schools, Newbiggin and Lynemouth primary schools, Castle School and Warkworth CofE Primary School and an Academy Improvement Board for Duke’s Secondary School. The terms of reference for the local governing bodies are held within the Scheme of Delegation and can be downloaded below.

Key Documents

Our Members, Trustees and Committees

Click the tabs below to find out who our Members, Trustees and Committee members are.

Stephen Purvis Chair of FORC
Alison Alden Chief Financial Officer (non-voting)
John Brearley
Alex Cox Chair of Endowment Trust
Alan Hardie CEO/Accounting Officer (non-voting)
Jeff Hope
John Marshall

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

John Marshall Trustee (Chair)
Russ Atkinson Principal, Duke’s Secondary School
Richard Bishopp Trustee
Dave Cookson  Commissioner for Secondary Education, Northumberland County Council
Alan Hardie Trustee and CEO
Martin Preston Associate Member
Paul Rickeard Director of Education, Newcastle Diocese
Rachel Mays Trustee

Key documents for reference

Attendance Record – Duke’s Academy Improvement Board 2020-21

The local governing bodies (LGB) are accountable for their decisions to the Trust Board.  Following the demerger of Bishop’s Primary School into five individual schools in July 2021, an additional LGB was created in September to serve the devolved schools. Warkworth C of E Primary School joined NCEA Trust in September 2020. For information on each LGB, please go to each school’s website:


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.