Ian Craig is to be the Chief Schools Adjudicator from April, ruling in disputes over admissions and the closing and opening of new schools. He takes over from Sir Philip Hunter, who retired at the end of last year. Mr Craig has worked for 40 years in education in Kent, where he grew up. His family, too, is steeped in education: his wife is a primary head and their two daughters are teachers.
Geoff Rees is retiring from Ivybridge Community College in Devon at the end of the summer term after 22 years at the school.
During that time, Ivybridge has doubled in size to 2,200 pupils, 273 staff and an annual budget of more than Pounds 10 million. Mr Rees first moved to Devon as head of the upper school at Coombe Dean Comprehensive in Plymouth after jobs in London, Essex and Eastbourne. From there, he became deputy principal at Bideford College before moving back to Plymouth in the mid-1980s to help reorganise its schools. He was then the first head of the new John Kitto Community College, before moving to Ivybridge.
Patricia Towey is to become the new principal of Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough. She joined the academy in September 2007 as director of education, but will now replace Robert Dore, who is moving to Bexleyheath School in Kent, which is in special measures. Ms Towey has worked at schools in Barking and Dagenham and as a deputy head at Childwall Specialist Sports College in Liverpool.
Windsor and Maidenhead has a new strategic director of children's services. Cliff Turner joined the borough in 2006 as head of services for children and young people after 30 years in education, starting in Northamptonshire as a middle-school teacher. He subsequently, moved into educational psychology and held senior posts with Hampshire. He is one of a growing number of educational psychologists nationally becoming directors of children's services.
Sara K Brehony, headteacher of Turves Green Girls' School and Technology College in Birmingham, will be retiring this year after 18 years leading the school. She started her teaching career at a school in Hillingdon, then taught in France. She worked as head of languages, before becoming a deputy head and then moving on to her most recent headship. Miss Brehony will continue as chair of the Edge Partnership, a collegiate of secondary and special schools in south-west Birmingham.
Carl Baker has joined Blackpool Council as assistant director for transforming schools. His main responsibility is to direct the Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital Programme in the city while ensuring that capital provision for schools and children's services properties is maintained. He was previously head of contract and partnership at Lincolnshire County Council.