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Welcome to The Marchant-Holliday school



Marchant-Holliday School is an independent, BESD (as incorporated within SEMH) Special School for boys with specific learning difficulties associated with learning delays or underachievement including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ASD, ADD, ADHD, ODD, OCD, PDD and mild auditory, visual and physical disabilities. 


The school is based near Wincanton in Somerset.

We are a small close-knit community which seeks to provide an excellent education within a secure and caring environment, where every child can feel safe and is valued as an individual. Everything we do is centred upon recognising the particular special and individual needs of each pupil, helping him to overcome his difficulties and to achieve his full potential.


Our aim is that, whilst children are with us, they will develop;

  • an ability to learn and to make sound academic progress

  • positive feelings of self worth

  • good and lasting friendships

  • a positive attitude towards family and community

  • moral values that will help them become a valued member of society

  • an enjoyment of school life

  • confidence and a sense of well-being

To help us meet the special needs of each pupil, we have access to a range of support services through our local NHS service including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and physiotherapy. Child counselling is available at the school and other types of therapy can be arranged e.g. music, art & play.

All our pupils make significant academic and behavioural progress during their time at the school. Some, on leaving are able to return to mainstream education, others may go on to senior special needs schools.

The school is fortunate to be supported by a small but dedicated Board of Governors:

Governor: Simon Jaggard

Governor: Jacqui Scholes (Acting Chair)

Governor: Wendy Tolson

If you wish to contact any of the governors please e-mail Ms D Jones on email

What is BESD?

BESD is an acronym which stands for Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties, a sub-set of 'Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties'. The Marchant-Holliday School specialises in working with boys experiencing these problems.  BESD describes a wide range of conditions including: withdrawal, depressive attitudes, preoccupation with eating habits, school phobia, disruptive, antisocial and unco-operative behaviour, and frustration, anger and threat of or actual violence. All of these affect a child’s own learning and can impact significantly on the education of peers.