PETER Housden, chief executive of Nottinghamshire County Council since 1994, has been appointed as the new director general for schools at the Department for Education and Skills - one of its most senior posts. The former secondary school teacher was previously Nottinghamshire's director of education. He recently spent six months with the Audit Commission leading its work on the NHS national plan. He is regarded as a moderniser despite working for a defiantly Old Labour council. The DFES has appointed Peter Shaw to the new post of director general for youth. Mr Shaw, who has spent most of his career at the department, most recently as director general for employment, will be in charge of 14-19 policy.