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 Bishop’s Primary School, 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.

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

Richard Bishopp Member appointed
John Brearley Chair, Member appointed
Alex Cox Member appointed
Alan Hardie Ex-officio
Jeff Hope Co-opted
Paul Johnson Member appointed
John Marshall Vice Chair, Member appointed
Rachel Mays Member appointed
Mina Munns Member appointed
Stephen Purvis Member appointed

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 have 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
Mina Munns Trustee
Martin Preston Associate Member
Paul Rickeard Director of Education, Newcastle Diocese
Rachel Mays Trustee

Bishop’s, Castle and Warkworth Schools each have a local governing body (LGB) which focuses on the individual school.  The LGBs are accountable for their decisions to the Trust Board.  The first meetings of Bishop’s and Castle LGBs took place in the spring term 2020. Warkworth CofE 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.