Mick Brookes: The new leader of the National Association of Headteachers embodies a more belligerent mood among primary heads.
Jacqui Smith: Back for her second stint at the Department for Education and Skills, Ruth Kelly's deputy is a widely respected former teacher.
Conor Ryan: David Blunkett's former spin doctor is now lurking in Downing Street shadows after being appointed as Tony Blair's education adviser.
Al Aynsley-Green: He became England's Children's Commissioner, with a remit to police children protection issues.
David Willetts: He returns to the Opposition education team, this time as shadow minister, despite supporting David Davies in the Conservative leader contest.