Tessa Fenoughty BSc.(Hons), PGCE, NPQH
It is a great privilege to be the principal of Marchbank Free School. I have been in education and teaching for 30 years and have taught all ages from nursery to undergraduates! Over that time I have had the opportunity to reflect on how children and young people learn best and this has influenced my core values. I believe in empowering children and young people and supporting and guiding them in their growth and development into individuals with resilience, self-confidence and high self-esteem. My vision for Marchbank is to build on current successes and achievements and develop a stimulating learning environment that continues to excite and challenge every child in the school every day.
Deputy Head Teacher
Paul Harbron BA Hons Cert Ed Dip Ed QTS
Hi, I am Paul, I'm the Deputy Head Teacher. 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.
I am Marchbank's Family Support Worker and one of Designated Safeguarding Leads in school ( - which means I am responsible for keeping children safe in school )
I have over 20 years of experience in offering practical help and emotional support to children, parents and carers, who are experiencing short or long term difficulties. The support I can offer may be a one off piece of advice or regular practical support -or vice versa! The support I can offer you can be carried out over the telephone, in the family home or here in school - my door is always open and I can be contacted via the school reception or directly on 01325 254673
Hello, my name is Ben Parnaby and I have joined the team at Marchbank as a Development Support Manager. I have worked in education since 2006 and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in mainstream and SEMH. I have spent a number of years working for Darlington Behaviour Support Service where I shared practice and strategies with schools to aid them in helping children with SEMH needs, whilst also taking a lead responsibility in a behaviour/nurture unit. I have also worked in 3 mainstream primary schools throughout the years. In my spare time, I enjoy taking my family on outdoor adventures; whether it be to the beach, for a walk down the woods, visiting heritage sites or a trip to a theme park - we love the outdoors! I look forward to the new challenges ahead and getting to know you, your children and of course, the team at Marchbank
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello, my name is Susan and I have recently joined the team at Marchbank.
Throughout my teaching career I have been fortunate to have worked in a diverse range of schools from East London to Bradford with time in Teesside in between. Within all my roles I have been particularly passionate about developing a curriculum and provision which enables children to thrive academically, socially and personally so that they are confident, happy learners. Having taught across the primary age range in mainstream settings, from nursery to year six, I was delighted to join the team at Marchbank this year. Working with the children and staff team at Marchbank is a real privilege: every day is different and the creativity the children show in their ideas is wonderful.
Hi, I’m Wendy. I am an NQT with experience in mainstream settings. I am new to SEMH but I am enjoying my time here at Marchbank. I love seeing how children learn and like to think of exciting ways to teach. Since being at Marchbank, I have found it rewarding and it has directed me onto a new teaching path. When I have free time, I enjoy cooking, baking, reading and music. I enjoy going to concerts to see performers. I am originally from Sunderland but now live in Darlington. I often drive through to Sunderland to see my family.
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!
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
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.
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.
Hi I’m Neil and I have been working 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 caring provision that have children at the forefront of education and development.
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!
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!!
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.
Hello my name is Kathryn and I have been working as the Finance Administrator at Marchbank since November 2018. I used to work at the Education Village on the reception and was thrilled when I was asked to fill in here and then got the job. I am happy to be joining the Marchbank family and excited to be working with a team of wonderful friendly staff and amazing students. My hobbies include binge watching shows on Netflix and going for long walks on the beach.