Falkirk Council has gone south of the border for its next director of education, adding a woman to the ranks in the process.
The authority has appointed Julia Swan, assistant director of education with Derby City Council, to the pound;76,000 a year post. Significantly, in light of criticism Falkirk received from HMI on its school attainment record, Ms Swan's remit in Derby was school improvement and inclusion.
She will take up the post in early February in succession to Graeme Young who took early retirement, a casualty of the adverse HMI report.
Ms Swan's background in special needs, which she taught in further education, will also have commended itself to Falkirk. She joined the directorate in 1981, working for authorities in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire before joining Derby.
David Alexander, leader of Falkirk Council, commented: "Julia has an impressive track record at a senior level and we have every confidence that she will make a significant contribution to education across Falkirk."
Ms Swan said she welcomed the opportunity to work within the Scottish education system. Her appointment brings the number of women education directors to just five out of 32.