Liz Hunter (formerly Lewis), who led the schools division in the education directorate, is to head a new directorate covering social justice, equalities and sport, including the Commonwealth Games, reporting to the director general of health.
She has been replaced by Colin MacLean, who has moved from the post of director of children, young people and social care, a section of the directorate which deals with child protection issues.
Christine Carlin, who is depute director of qualifications and had a key role in producing the consultation paper on the "next generation" of exams, launched last month, is understood to have been seconded to Perth and Kinross Council.
The departure of two such senior officials involved in driving forward A Curriculum for Excellence and new exam qualifications will inevitably prompt speculation that the personnel changes will herald changes in style, pace or direction of these reforms.
In recent months, the Educational Institute of Scotland, has complained that "chalk-face" concerns about implementation of ACfE have not been getting through to the Education Secretary. Headteachers and directors of education told the Scottish Parliament's education committee earlier this year that there was a lack of strategic leadership and momentum in the curriculum reforms.
It is widely recognised that Ms Hyslop has pinned her colours to the mast on the successful implementation of ACfE and that she has been anxious to impress upon the education community her determination to deliver the changes.
Mr MacLean had a key role in the education department in the aftermath of the SQA crisis of 2000 and is seen as an experienced official with a strong background in education.