Claudia Beamish was born in August 1952 in London and brought up in the South East of England. She studied at the University of London gaining a degree in History and French before obtaining a post-graduate qualification in primary teaching from Oxford.
Following her studies, Claudia ran a community video and theatre project working with local groups firstly in London and then, following a move to Scotland in the late 1980s, the Douglas Valley area and Kilmarnock.
Prior to becomming an MSP Claudia taught in two rural South Lanarkshire primary schools and served as the Eco-Schools coordinator at Abington Primary School.
Claudia lives in Pettinain with her partner Michael who works for the Scottish Society for Autism. Her daughter Freya is living in Beijing and son Francis is at Edinburgh University.