Who we are

Tracy Barton and Patricia Cooper have together over 40 years’ experience in school governance. They have spent several years working in local authority Governor Support providing clerking services, training and advice to governing boards.


Tracy Barton has been a vice-chair and governor of two high schools and is currently a governor at a Lancashire primary school and an associate member of the Resources Committee of a large primary school in Bolton.

Her early career was in corporate governance, supporting boards of directors of various companies. She has previously held the position of company secretary within the pharmaceutical industry and has been a director of a UK-based import business.

For the past 14 years Tracy has specialised in school governance, providing advice, guidance and training to clerks, governors and headteachers of a wide range of maintained and academy schools.

Following 12 years as a senior member of the Governor Services team at Lancashire County Council Tracy became an independent governance adviser and subsequenty established Cooper Barton Ltd along with a previous colleague and experienced governance practitioner, Patricia Cooper.

Tracy has a HNC in Business, Post-Graduate Certificate in Management and has completed the NCTL National Clerk’s Development Programme.


Patricia Cooper has been a school governor for over 25 years and is currently Chair at a large primary school in Bolton. She studied law at Liverpool University and started her career as a solicitor in private practice, later undertaking a PGCE in post-16 education and teaching law on a range of professional courses in further and higher education.

She has a wide range of experience in governance having worked in Governor Support for two local authorities since 2001 and as Governance Officer at UCLan where she provided company secretarial services to the University Companies.

Latterly she worked with Tracy Barton at Lancashire County Council in developing support for academy governors and as Governor Training and Development Manager, was responsible for providing and delivering the training service to over 9000 Lancashire governors.