Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT) has celebrated the start of the new academic year with the launch of four new primary schools.

The multi academy trust, which operates across South East Northumberland, has successfully demerged its 1,500 pupil primary academy to create five separate primary schools in their own right, ready for the start of the Autumn term.

The project, which has been completed in close collaboration with the Department for Education, local authorities and the local community, will see the schools become more firmly embedded in the local communities they serve, while continuing to benefit from being a part of a wider academy trust.

Each new school will have its own, simplified admissions system and its own Headteacher. In line with current Government funding allowances, it is expected that the demerger will also bring an additional £250,000 to the schools this academic year to support investment in teaching and learning resources, such as IT equipment and books.

Alan Hardie, Chief Executive Officer at NCEAT, commented:

“At the end of August, we received the final permission needed from the Department for Education (DfE) to split the former Bishop’s Primary School into five separate schools. 

“At NCEAT we are dedicated to providing the highest quality learning experiences for our pupils and we felt that this would be best achieved through the creation of a family of primary schools which would sit firmly at the heart of their local communities while retaining all of the benefits of working together as part of our Trust. 

“This has been a huge project for NCEAT staff, in consultation with parents and carers, local authorities and members of our community so we’re absolutely delighted that the demerger has gone ahead successfully. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly welcome Grace Darling C of E Primary, James Knott C of E Primary, Thomas Bewick C of E Primary and William Leech C of E Primary into the Trust as new schools.” 

The successful demerger has doubled NCEAT’s portfolio of schools in the Northumberland area. The Trust, which was founded in 2009, also comprises Warkworth C of E Primary School, Duke’s Secondary School and Castle School, a speciality school for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

To find out more about Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust, visit www.ncea.org.uk