Philip Holmes retires as assistant director of children, family and adult services for East Riding of Yorkshire Council at the end of June. He joined the council in 1999 after a career as a teacher at the Rufford School, Edwinstowe, and Portland School, Worksop, both in Nottinghamshire. He became national president of the Society of Chief Inspectors and Advisers in 2004.
John Wilson, currently head of Bridlington School and Sports College, will take over as assistant director in September.
Danny Moloney, headteacher of George Abbot School in Guildford, Surrey, has been appointed a national leader of education for the National College for School Leadership. He will use his experience, along with his staff, to provide additional leadership in schools with problems.
Catherine Fitt has been appointed strategic director for children's services for the National College of School Leadership. Mrs Fitt, who became Newcastle's first executive director of children's services in February 2005, will leave the city council this summer to take up her new role. She will be responsible for the national programme of training and development for children's services directors that Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, announced after Lord Laming's recent review of children's services.
Peter Kingham has become executive principal of the Oasis Academies in the north and west of England. He has left as head of Etone Technology and Language Vocational College in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, where he worked for 10 years to join the academy sponsor Oasis, which was set up by the Reverend Steve Chalke, the TV evangelist. Mr Kingham's first job was at Southborough High in Surbiton, Surrey, where he taught RE. Kath Brooks and Maura Favell are acting heads at Etone College, which is intending to appoint a head to start in September.
Gail Tolley has been appointed director of its children and young people's service by Milton Keynes Council. Miss Tolley joins from the London borough of Camden, where she was assistant director for learning and school effectiveness in the children, schools and families directorate. She will play a key role in driving the local children's trust and the provision of services for children.
Jane Morris has been appointed director of Governors Wales, an independent organisation for school governors in Wales. She taught Welsh and French at Cwrt Sart Comprehensive in Neath and at Bryntirion Comprehensive in Bridgend before becoming head of department in Welsh at Llanedeyrn High in Cardiff. She then joined Governors Wales as a support services co-ordinator.
Robin Niedermaier-Reed will take up his first headship this September at Chessington Community College in Surrey, where he is currently the deputy head. He is also leader of the Hillsyde Federation of three schools in south-east London.
The title of Chris Woodhead's new book, 'A Desolation of Learning', is taken from Geoffrey Hill's poem 'The Triumph of Love'. The full line is: "And yes - bugger you, MacSikker et al - I do mourn and resent your desolation of learning". So who is MacSikker? Well, the poem features attacks on two critics, "Sean O'Shem" and "Lothian MacSikker". They may be Hill's revenge on two critics of his book 'Canaan', who review for 'The Times Literary Supplement' and 'The Sunday Times'. Woodhead appears to be telling the journalists and teachers who have criticised him where to go.