Marchbank Interim Head Teacher

Adrian Sugden 

Adrian is an experienced Headteacher and has been a Headteacher in both mainstream and Special Schools. He has been a member of senior Leadership Teams in schools for the last 13 years spending much of his career in large secondary schools in Bradford and Leeds where he still lives with his family.

Although an interim Head Adrian is determined to make improvements for the students in school. He is working closely with the Education Village Academy  Trust and designated head to start and build sustainable projects for her to continue once she is in post in January.

Teaching Staff

Paul Harbron BA Hons Cert Ed Dip Ed QTS

Deputy Head Teacher

Hi, I am Paul, I'm the Deputy Head Teacher, and a class teacher 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.

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.

Sarah Shaw

Hi I’m Sarah and I’m the class teacher in Cedar. I started teaching in 2005 when I and spent 7 years in Essex before moving back to Darlington. The majority of my time has been in mainstream schools with a move into specialist teaching in 2016. I am excited for the upcoming year in Marchbank and can’t wait to work alongside the wonderful children and staff.

Outside of my life in school I am a mum to 2 and a step mum to another 2 so we have a very busy household. The children take up the majority of my time and I love spending my weekends and school holidays playing with them and going for days out as a family. I also like to take advantage of me time either at home reading or going out and meeting up with friends.

Nichole Shaw

Hi, I'm Nicolle 
I’m still fairly new to teaching and after completing a SCITT course, I have spent my first 2 years teaching in a mainstream school but have a genuine passion for helping children with SEMH difficulties. 

I love working with children and love to think of new and exciting ways to engage them in their learning. 

When I'm not at work I enjoy baking, reading and going on long walks with my partner and our German Shepherd! I also love to travel and have a long list of places I want to visit and experience, which I’m slowly ticking off. 

I’m so excited to be part of the team here at Marchbank and feel privileged to work alongside such fantastic children and staff.

Matt Hermon

Hi, my name is Matt and I am a Trainee Teacher 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 its current size. I enjoy having the opportunity to watch the children reach their 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.

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.