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“In just two years the staff have gained Oscar’s trust, made him more confident and helped him move forward. He has made some lovely friendships with other children because they all understand each other. St Mary’s have given us back our Oscar and we feel the future is bright for him.”

Read more about us and what people say about St Marys here


Specialist support for speech, language and communication difficulties and associated complex needs

Thank you for visiting the St Mary’s School and College website. We are a non-maintained residential special school based on the south coast of England in Bexhill, East Sussex and we currently cater for both residential and day pupils aged 7 to 19. Since 1922, it has been our mission to ensure that children with Speech, Language and Communication needs and additional difficulties receive the integrated support they need to enable them to achieve their potential and take their place in the community. Many of our pupils have autism, PDA and a range of additional needs.

St Mary’s is a total communication environment. This means we utilise a range of approaches that enable our pupils to succeed in their development of their communication skills. All of our staff, including those in non-child facing roles, are trained in sign-supported English. Our signing team provide assistance for parents who wish to learn to sign in order that they can support their child in the home. In addition, we value and proactively invest in communication and learning technologies.

Our on-site residential houses offer a ‘homely’ and supportive environment for pupils to live and learn for up to 38 weeks a year. There is an emphasis on providing a normalised residential experience at the school and pupils given every opportunity to do things for themselves wherever possible.

In addition to supporting Speech, Language and Communication needs the school and college offers a personalised plan for each child to access a broad and balanced curriculum fully integrated with physiotherapy and occupational therapy, social, emotional and mental health support and opportunities to develop independence and life skills. Our facilities offer excellent opportunities to support individual needs and include a swimming pool, library, sports hall, Food Tech and Science rooms, physiotherapy and sensory integration facilities and therapy support rooms.

St Mary's School and College operate under the charity and company name of the Talking Trust.

Natalie Edwards

Acting Principal