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Denise Stokoe, head of quality and development in education for Surrey, has been appointed director of educational services for Brighton and Hove Council.

Dr Alun Thomas, formerly head of institutions and programmes division with the Higher Education Funding Council, has joined Bath College of Higher Education as assistant director.

Janet Halliday, general education adviser in modern foreign languages, Harlow, and Hilary Footitt, head of languages, Westminster University, have been appointed to the governing body of the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research for a three-year term.

Sunderland University has awarded honorary degrees to: Sir David Puttnam, filmmaker (doctorate of letters); Sir Michael Heron, chairman of the Post Office (doctorate of laws); and Dr Edward Robson, director of the Teaching Company Directorate (doctorate of technology).

Essex University has awarded honorary degrees to: Professor Eric Hobsbawm, emeritus professor of economic and social history, London University, and Baroness James of Holland Park, novelist, retired senior civil servant and governor of the BBC.

Keele University has awarded honorary degrees to: Judge Stephen Tumim, former chief inspector of prisons (doctor of laws); Professor Brian Fender, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council and former Keele vice-chancellor (doctor of the university); Dr Paul Williams, chair and chief executive of the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (doctor of science); Richard Mottram, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence (doctor of letters); and Marion Bailey, who was the first employee of the University College of North Staffordshire (master of the university).

Paul Pharaoh has become a partner in law firm Martineau Johnson's rapidly-expanding education department, which acts for UK universities, further education and sixth-form colleges and schools. He has been a partner at Shakespeares and its predecessor firms for 20 years.

James Aston, formerly manager of Kidsons Impey's National Education Group, has been made a partner. The firm serves the further education and independent and grant-maintained schools' sectors.

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