Marchbank Principal

School SENCO

Mandy Southwick BA (Hons) QTS N.P.Q.H, M.B.E.                                                                           


I am Mandy Southwick and have the privileged position of being the Principal of Marchbank Free School.

I have worked with children with SEMH since 2000 when I joined Beaumont Hill School and subsequently the SEMH provision.
I believe strongly in helping the children of Marchbank, and their families, to make the most of themselves; to do well at school and enjoy a first class education amidst magnificent surroundings. Prior to September 2013 Marchbank was a dream – it is now a fabulous reality with a developing track record of providing an excellent education to our children where they can succeed and reach their potential

Deputy Principal

Harriet Emmerson BSc (Hons) QTS

Hi, my name is Harriet Emmerson, I am the Deputy Principal here at Marchbank. I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I found out I could not be a Superhero. I have been a teacher for 10 years and always in the field of SEMH; this was after completing a Psychology degree at Northumbria University. I really love my job, have a love of learning myself and love to see children developing their knowledge and skills. To do this in such a beautiful setting and with such an amazing staff team and students makes me feel blessed on a daily basis.

Teaching Staff

Andy Emmerson BSc (Hons) QTS

Hello I'm Andy, I am the class teacher of Cedar, our classroom is on the first floor and looks out over the lawn and the forest! The start of Marchbank has been really exciting and am very pleased to have been part of it. It is amazing witnessing everything take shape and become real. I am a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner and am developing the Forest School provision at Marchbank! I am really excited about the future of Marchbank!

Paul Harbron BA Hons Cert Ed Dip Ed QTS

Hi, I am Paul, one of the class teachers at Marchbank. I have been teaching for nearly 14 years and have experience of working with children with a wide range of specific needs. I love working with the children giving them a wide range of learning opportunities, especially if that means getting outside to the forest or outdoor environment!

Before becoming a teacher, I spent a number of years in the Military Police. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the Marchbank family and am looking forward to whatever the future has in store for us all as we move forward together.

Chris Pressdee-Rudd, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS


I’m Chris. I’ve been a teacher here at Marchbank Free School since April 2015.

I love working with children, and the best part of my job is seeing children getting excited about the things that they are learning. Life at Marchbank is really varied, and no two days are the same.

I’m really passionate about sports, especially cricket, rugby and football, and I even still play every now and then. I also love music, drama and languages. I studied Performing Arts at university before I moved to Japan to teach English. When I came home, I trained to be a teacher and I have been doing it now since September 2013.

I feel really privileged to work with such a brilliant team and a great group of children, and I can’t wait to see how Marchbank will grow and change in the future.

Sally Raine BA (hons) QTS Dip ed


I’m Sally and I have been a teacher here at Marchbank since September 2014.

I am so excited and happy to be part of the fantastic team at Marchbank and everyone here has made me so welcome. I have been teaching for too many years to count, although the last 12 years have been in SEMH both in the classroom and as a specialist advisory teacher in North Yorkshire.

I love to dance take part in drama and create messy art and in my spare time I teach a fitness class called Fitsteps. I also love spending time with my husband and three children and two extremely energetic dogs.

I love coming to work every day as the children are so hardworking and make me giggle lots.

Andrew Meadowcroft: B Mus (hons), Cert ED, QTS

Hi I’m Andrew, I’ve been a teacher at Marchbank from January 2016.

I came back to teaching after 10 years running a music education business and am thrilled to be here.

The truth is that the team, the children, even this amazing building make this far and away the best place to teach and learn in that I’ve known.

Obviously my background is in music and I’ve enjoyed developing singing, drumming and recorders even a bit of Rock and Roll with the children.

I’m looking forward to contributing to the amazing work the school does in helping each of its pupils achieve their very maximum potential.

Teaching Assistants

Tara Scott

Hi, My name is Tara and I’m the HLTA here at Marchbank School and I began working with SEMH students from January 2000. In this time I have gained a wealth of experience and a real love for my job. In my spare time I like to keep fit and my main passion is running. If this is not out on the open road it is in the form of a mummy running after my 3 beautiful children. I was really excited about being in at the beginning of Marchbank and just love using my skills, passion and enthusiasm to help the school to continue to develop along with our fantastic team

Sam Calvert


I'm Sam, and I am a Teaching Assistant here at Marchbank.I am extremely proud to be a part of a fantastic team of staff supporting children here who enjoy and achieve every single day, ensuring they reach their full potential in school, and in life. I enjoy using the stimulating environment in our forest for team building games and group activities as well as a good game of sport on our field!

I am excited for the successful and promising future of Marchbank, and feel privileged to be a part of it.

Matt Hermon

Hi, my name is Matt and I am a Teaching Assistant here at Marchbank School. I have worked with children with SEMH for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy working with the students and the team. I enjoy music and play guitar amongst other instruments. I've been at Marchbank since it opened and have watched it grow to it's current size. I enjoy having the opportunity to watch the children reach their potential!

Diane Stephenson


I am Diane and I am a Teaching Assistant at Marchbank School. I have worked in primary education for pupils with SEMH since 1995 in both mainstream and special school settings. I worked with SEMH pupils in Residential Primary School as a Teaching Assistant and then as Deputy Head/Senior Residential Childcare Officer.

Working with SEMH pupils is both challenging and rewarding and keeps me young in heart and mind. I enjoy arts and crafts and baking  both at home and with the children.

I enjoy being able to watch both the pupils, staff, parents and carers work together to help the school achieve success.                                                

Neil Stanley


Hi I’m Neil and I work as a Teaching Assistant at Marchbank since July 2015.

I have worked with children with SEMH for over 16 years now and have enjoyed my journey very much indeed, during this time I was also a Youth Worker in Darlington for nearly 8 years.

I’m excited to be part of this new and caring provision that have children at the forefront of education and development.

Laura Spence

Hi, I'm Laura. I have been working as a teaching assistant here at Marchbank Free School since January 2016. I have worked in primary education since 2013 and have experience working with children with SEMH in both mainstream and special school settings.

I love working with children and find it most rewarding when the children are as passionate as we are about the subject they are learning. When I'm not at work I enjoy travelling and exploring new places with my partner, daughter and our boisterous Labradoodle!

I feel honoured to be part of such a fantastic team of staff here at Marchbank and look forward to being a part of things to come!

Holly Jackson

Hi, I'm Holly. I have been working as a teaching assistant here at Marchbank Free School on supply since September 2015 and I'm really excited to now be a permanent member of the Marchbank team as of February 2017! I've worked in primary education since 2013 and have experience working with children with both general SEN and SEMH. 

I love working with children and find it so rewarding to help children to learn and reach their potential.
When I'm not at work I enjoy reading, creative writing, baking and arts and crafts as well as travelling and spending time with my husband and our three cats!

I feel so honoured to be part of such a fantastic team here at Marchbank and I'm excited to watch the children continue to grow into the awesome people I know they are!

Rachel Craggs

Hi, my name is Rachel and I've worked at Marchbank since January 2018.  I'm a teaching assistant and have the pleasure of working in all classes.  
All the children and staff here have been very welcoming and fantastic at helping me when I've needed it.  Before joining Marchbank, I worked in a primary school in Stockton.   I love the beautiful building that our school is set in and am super impressed with the talent of our children and the opportunities they get.   When I'm not in school, I spend all my time with my 2 gorgeous children, our 2 dogs and doing course work for my degree!!

Office Manager

Jo Hull


My name is Jo and I am the Office Manager at Marchbank.

I have been with the school since it opened its doors in September 2013. I take care of the day to day running of the school office, meeting and greeting visitors and parents and liaising with staff.

In my role I am very fortunate to be able to interact with the children of Marchbank all of whom are a joy and a pleasure to be around when they help me out with little jobs within the office.

I have worked in an admin environment for over 20 years but have never enjoyed my job as much as I do at Marchbank. Watching the school grow and the children achieve and enjoy is so fulfilling and exciting.