Berry Education is a support service specialising in governance development for multi academy trusts in the education sector.   Our staff have a wealth of experience in governance and bring together leadership skills from the education, governance, HR and Legal sectors.  Staff are governors (or Chairs) at local schools and academies and our company Director has strong links with the NGA as a Leading Governance Consultant.

Our core focus is to support schools to keep abreast of their governance and business compliance functions.  We are expertly placed to provide support, with a robust understanding of both academic and business requirements in an educational setting, and how they must be streamlined to promote best practice and continued development.

Claire Mitchell

Governance Partner

Claire is a Governance and Academy Improvement Professional who is passionate about supporting Trustees, Directors & Governors in their volunteer roles.  She is a Chair of Governors at her local Church of England Primary School and has a wealth of experience working in academy and mainstream settings with a specialism in MAT governance.

Claire has over a decade of experience within education and skills, initially as a teacher in the 14-19 sector supporting children to regain their education pathway and develop a lifelong love for learning.   Claire has held a number of senior leadership roles within education, including managing ESFA funded learning provision in excess of £10million for 150+ education and skills providers.  Claire also has experience as a Designated Safeguarding Lead.

As an NGA Consultant Claire also delivers training, carries out external reviews of governance, and facilitates the NGA Leading Governance development programmes.

Claire is expertly placed to support governance, with a robust understanding of both academic and compliance requirements in an educational setting.

Lorraine Wilson

Governance Partner

Lorraine is a Governance and Business Management Professional with a high level of experience in educational business management, legal processes and procedure.

With frontline experience of working in schools, in a multitude of roles, supporting governance, finance, HR and stakeholder management Lorraine is well equipped to proactively support Trustees, Directors and Governors with their ever-increasing strategic roles.

With over a decade of experience in the legal sector Lorraine has invaluable skills to support governance and understands the necessity to ensure compliance and best practice is followed.

Lorraine is expertly placed to support trusts to develop and maintain strong governance oversight and is passionate about promoting positive change that is underpinned by strategic leadership and compliance.

Paige Huntington

Governance Partner

Paige is a Governance and Business Management Professional with a high level of experience working in the Education sector, Paige has previously worked for Durham County Council for 6 years which included working in the SEND team, as the Personal Assistant to the Head of Education and Skills and then progressing to work within the School and Governor Support Service.   With the experience and skills gained through working with professionals and the Senior Leadership Team, Paige joined Berry Education to utilise her well-developed skills and knowledge in governance and interpersonal skills to support within the Academy sector.

Paige is passionate about building and maintaining professional working relationships with clients and strives to provide a great service with a smile on her face.

Ruth Callaghan

Governance Partner

Ruth is an experienced Governance Professional with over 20 years experience working with Boards across central government, local authority and within a Multi Academy Trust.

Ruth gained her Level 3 Clerking for Schools with the National Governance Association in 2021.  She has been responsible for the development of an in-house governance service for a MAT – establishing an annual plan of meetings, supporting Board recruitment, induction and training as well as successfully embedding the use of an e-governance platform to manage Board papers, deliver governor training programmes and record governor compliance. Her experience extends to pupil exclusion committees, handling complaints and first-hand experience of MAT re-brokerage processes.

Ruth has extensive experience with national regulators and funding bodies including Ofsted, ESFA and the Gambling Commission, which equips her with a strong eye for accuracy and understanding of regulatory frameworks and compliance.   She is keen to ensure compliance to the legislative and regulatory context for school and MAT governance and supports our schools and Trusts to apply this to their own governance arrangements.  She is a firm believer that good governance is predicated on strong relationship management with a track record of building conducive professional relationships with a wide range of Chairs, Board members and Senior leaders.

Sue Richardson

Governance Partner

Sue is a Governance and School Improvement specialist who has worked in the field of Education for 30 years; her varied experience enables her to offer understanding of strategic working within both Academy and Local Authority maintained frameworks. Her roles included a number of senior leadership positions, most recently that of Headteacher.

Sue has extensive experience of working collaboratively with key stakeholders, including with Academy Trust Boards and Local Governance tiers, supporting these partnerships to ensure compliance and statutory regulations are known and adhered to. Sue has gained experience of many complex processes including exclusions, admissions and complaint management.

Sue has fulfilled the responsibilities associated with being a Designated Safeguarding Lead and those of a Special Needs Coordinator, gaining the NASENCO qualification in 2017. She has experience of the accountability associated with the Ofsted inspection framework, achieving key performance indicators and budget management alongside the reporting of statutory financial information.

Sue brings a wealth of skills from her Advisory roles within an Academy Trust where she facilitated networks to create opportunities for valuable reflective professional dialogue and lead on training seminars which focussed on current priorities.

As a Berry Education Governance Partner, Sue is keen to offer her knowledge, experience and many transferrable skills to support our schools and Trusts to manage and develop their strategic leadership requirements.


01429 839242


The Old Brewery Business Centre, Castle Eden, Durham, TS27 4SU