Caroline O'Neill is the new assistant director of Hartlepool's children's services, with responsibility for performance and achievement. She joined from Gateshead, where she was a senior inspector. Mrs O'Neill is also an Ofsted inspector and a school improvement partner for primary and special schools. In addition, she supports the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority with the primary curriculum review. She began her career as a teacher in Newcastle upon Tyne, later becoming a head.
Ian Johnson, retires as head of Staly Hill Junior School in Stalybridge, Tameside, at Easter after 27 years. He started teaching at St John's Primary in Dukinfield in 1970 and worked at various other Tameside schools, including Old Chapel Primary and Clarendon Fields Primary, before joining Staly Hill.
Barry Burke has been named as the principal designate for the Manchester Health Academy, which will open in Brooklands, Wythenshawe, in September 2010 and will target students interested in careers in medical, clinical, nursing and technical health services. Mr Burke began his career as a physics and maths teacher at North Chadderton Secondary in Lancashire, went on to schools in Oldham and Wigan, and was head of Ehenside High in Cumbria for four years. In 1999, he became head of Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, identified as the fifth most-improved secondary in England in 2005. In January 2006, he became associate head of Norden Sports College for eight months and developed links between the two staffs, which led to the Hyndburn Partnership.
Neil Watts is to retire this summer from Northgate High in Ipswich, Suffolk, after 17 years as head. He has taught at King Henry VIII School in Coventry, Hedingham School in Essex, and Stowupland High, near Stowmarket in Suffolk. In 1985 he became deputy head at Northgate High, leading to his first headship at Sudbury Upper School, before his return to Northgate.
Kathy Leaver is principal designate for the Co-operative Academy of Manchester in Higher Blackley, which will specialise in finance and business when it opens in September 2010. She will take up her new role next month. Mrs Leaver has been head of Sale High in Cheshire since 2005. Her career began at Deanery High in Wigan. She progressed to senior teacher with special responsibility for vocational and business links. In 1998 she became deputy head of Bury High, and in 2000 joined Holly Lodge Girls' College in Liverpool, as deputy head.
Reverend John McDowell has been appointed, as a member of the Transferor Representatives' Council to the Belfast Education and Library Board by Caitriona Ruane, the Northern Ireland education minister. The board has statutory responsibility for local education, youth and library services. Mr McDowell has been rector of St Mark's Dundela in the city since 2002 and is a governor of Strandtown Primary in Belfast.
The 2008 RAF Headteacher of the Year has now claimed his prize of a 30-minute flight with the Red Arrows. Melvyn Kershaw, who recently retired from Haybridge High in Hagley, Worcestershire, was voted best secondary head of the West Midlands and then went on to win the national award. He began his career in chemistry and took over the school 20 years ago. In 2005, he was made an OBE for his services to education. Dr Kershaw has become the 14-19 West Midlands regional adviser for the Department for Children, Schools and Families.