The Team

Who We Are


Zoe Birri


Zoe founded The Sunningdale Academy to pursue her passion for teaching children the importance of social skills and confidence.  Zoe graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in International Relations and then joined Royal Dutch Shell, where she worked in communications, social investment and crisis management.  Zoe has lived in the UK since she was a young child and resides in Surrey with her husband and three children.

Jo Bryant


Jo Bryant is one of the UK's leading etiquette consultants.  She worked at Debrett's for over a decade, is the editor of more than 15 acclaimed books on etiquette and modern manners, and regularly provides expert commentary for print and broadcast media.  Jo is a mum to two children.

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Victoria Ball

Communication Skills and Presentation

Victoria is a specialist in interpersonal and intercultural communication. As a consultant she works with individuals of all ages to help them develop their emotional intelligence and people skills.  Victoria is a graduate of Cambridge University and regularly coaches for Debrett's, tying together traditional etiquette coaching and interpersonal skill building. Prior to consulting, Victoria enjoyed a successful career as a television and stage actress.

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Anna Hewitt

Emotional Wellbeing

Anna is a qualified Mindfulness Coach who specialises in working with children and young people teaching strategies that boost self-esteem, confidence, emotional regulation and resilience. She has worked in primary education for over ten years and passionately believes we are never too young to learn awareness skills, connect internally and externally and learn to make positive choices.  Anna is a mum to three children.


Eilidh McCormick

Public Speaking, Presentation, Body Language and Posture

Eilidh is an actress who has also been teaching drama for over 20 years.  Disciplines taught include  acting, voice, accents and dialects, acting for camera, LAMDA, presentation skills, storytelling, devising and collaboration.  She has taught, directed and facilitated workshops for children and adults for Italia Conti, PACE Theatre Company, Coatbridge College, CITV and UK Theatre School to name a few. 

Laura Poulteney

Emotional Wellbeing

Laura is a children's confidence coach and supports, guides and empowers children to accept and embrace who they are.  Laura helps children navigate friendships, relationships and their emotions.  After a longstanding teaching career working with young children, Laura trained to become a confidence coach and now works with young children and teenagers.  Laura is a mum to three children.

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Faiza Yasin

Fitness and Nutrition

Faiza is an associate nutritionist and health and wellbeing coordinator for schools across Berkshire. She also works with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) as a Governor and Patient Representative, having spent most of her childhood there for a rare heart condition. She is a professional yoga teacher, practices mindfulness and is a qualified International Cardiovascular Disease and Rehab Yoga instructor.  Faiza champions youth voices across the NHS as the Chair of The Young People’s Form at GOSH as well as being the host of the first ever NHS national youth forum.

Patricia Paisis-Oakwell

Fitness and Nutrition

Patricia is a nutritional therapist, personal trainer and group exercise instructor.  She is passionate about helping people of all ages to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle.  She focuses on all areas of health and wellness, working with the mind, body and soul.  Patricia is a mum to three children.


Shivani Patiar

Wardrobe and Personal Care

Shivani is a qualified personal stylist with over 20 years of experience working in the fashion, beauty and retail industries.  She is a big believer of using colour with clothes to help boost happiness.  Shivani helps her clients get the most wear out of their wardrobes and is passionate about sustainability.  Shivani is a mum of two and enjoys helping children and teenagers to feel happy, confident and to use clothes as a technique to express their own unique selves.

Donna Baker

Course Assistant - Ascot and Weybridge

Donna has vast experience working with school children.  She has worked as an experienced 1:1 teacher and a higher-level teaching assistant.  Donna is committed to continuous learning and is undertaking further teaching qualifications for primary education.  Donna is highly experienced in working with SEN children and has training in ASD, ADHD and is team teach trained.  Donna has experience working with children who have ADHD, ODD, ASD, cognitive delay, slow processing, low working memory and dyslexia.  Donna is a mum to four girls.