Departures at the top of the two examining bodies announced this week leave the way clear for the new Scottish Qualifications Authority to come into existence with a distinct identity next April.
Hamish Long will step down as chief executive of the Scottish Examination Board at the end of March when Tom McCool, his counterpart at the Scottish Vocational Education Council, departs. Peter Kimber, depute chief executive of the SEB, retires today (Friday). The changes will give both organisations a "balanced ticket" of three directors apiece in the SQA.
Dr Long, aged 55, has headed the SEB since 1990. Mr Kimber, 59, became his depute in 1993. Mr McCool, 57, has been Scotvec's chief executive since its inception in 1985. Mr Kimber is moving to England to be chief executive of the Scripture Union, with which he has been involved for many years.