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Meet the expert

In each of our newsletters, we will introduce you to one of our experts from Priory Education and Children’s Services. 

This month, Chris Sweeney, Principal at Mark College in Somerset, tells you about why they are one of the UK’s premier international colleges for young people with specific learning difficulties associated with dyslexia and language disorder.

Introducing Chris Sweeney Chris Sweeney - Mark College Principal

“I have worked in education for 22 years and have a varied background in a wide variety of settings including day and boarding schools, catering for young people from the ages of 2 to 19. Mark College is the third school that I have led and I am enormously proud to be its Principal.

Over the last seven years, Mark College has provided a high quality British education and boarding experience to international students from a wide variety of countries. We are experts at meeting individual cultural needs and ensuring that students feel safe, secure and achieve their potential.”

Achieving positive academic outcomes for international students

“Our international students have left us with a range of appropriate qualifications according to their needs including GCSEs, BTECs and A Levels. We have also supported students to move into higher education if this is the correct pathway for them.

I passionately believe that a good education is life changing for a young person. It provides opportunities and gives experiences that will shape their future. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to be in a position where I can be part of a team that can influence and shape this.

In order to deliver our high expectations, it is our job as educators to find ways that we can fit our teaching and our curriculum to the individual needs of each young person, working flexibly to find the key that can unlock their potential.”

Developing personal skills at Mark College

“At the heart of my philosophy lie the values of respect, integrity, dignity and the importance of high expectations. It is essential that we hold the highest expectations of each young person that we work with to ensure that they can achieve their absolute best.

However, academic achievement is only part of education; personal development is crucial to ensure that we are equipping our young people with the skills to go on and live successful, happy lives. By making certain that we instil the values of my philosophy, we can ensure that all of our young people have the necessary personal skills, drive and confidence to go on and be the best that they can be in whatever they choose to do. Education is about widening horizons, giving choice and opportunities.”


“I firmly believe that every student who comes through our door has something special, something they can develop further. Our job is to help them find this, guide them along the way and ensure that they are able to realise their dreams and aspirations.”

Chris Sweeney, Principal at Mark College

Get in touch

For more information on our British SEN schools and colleges, or to become a Priory Education and Children’s Services agent, please call +44 (0)208 108 2571.

Alternatively, click here to arrange a call back at a time convenient to you.

We would also be more than happy to show you around one of our schools or colleges.

Please do contact us when you are next in the UK to arrange a site tour.