Teachers and Tatler-friendly names sit side by side at last
Rapper Ms Dynamite is out. Naveen Andrews, star of the television series Lost, is in. GMTV presenter Kate Garraway is in. And so are 14 headteachers.
For years, Debrett's People of Today has pronounced on who has arrived socially, and consigned others to social purgatory. Jo Bryant, its spokeswoman, describes the book as "the 25,000 most influential and successful people in the UK. It's supposed to be a snapshot of those high achievers who are pre-eminent in their field."
The latest edition, published this week, has a new range of Tatler- friendly names. But among those making their debut are Patrick Derham, head of Rugby School, and the heads of 13 other predominantly independent schools.
Also included for the first time are Mick Brookes, general secretary of heads' union NAHT, John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, and Sir Alan Steer, the Government's behaviour adviser.
Ms Bryant argues that the selection process is less random than it might appear. "We have heads of leading state schools, top public and prep schools, and high-profile educationists," she said. "We look at league table performance, reputation, media profile, to decide who should be approached each year."
Entrants are only included with permission, so part of the process is left to fate. Some heads, for example, have a more ruthless attitude to unsolicited paperwork than others.
Ms Bryant insists that potential entrants are not judged by their ability to get into the right parties. "The aim is to be completely meritocratic and contemporary," she said. "It doesn't matter how much money or what social standing you have. It's purely based on achievement."
This is echoed by Martin Ward, Dr Dunford's deputy. "John is a very influential figure in the education world," he said. "Does he go to the right parties? If you're talking about hobnobbing with the great and the good, then probably not to the extent that an appearance in Debrett's might suggest. But he's well-respected and has a very deep understanding of the education system."
The flip side, of course, is the point at which the great and the good are deemed no longer great or good enough for inclusion. This year, those banished to the suburbs of success include Lisa Stansfield.
Ms Bryant said: "We have the facility to keep it very current. These are the people at the top of their profession at the moment."
Nonetheless, new education entrants are unlikely to be making the most of their fleeting social status by partying at Chinawhite until 3am. "John's very fond of his wine," said Mr Ward. "But we're talking about a glass or two of carefully selected vintage, not swilling huge amounts and falling out of a nightclub."
PEOPLE OF TODAY - NEW EDUCATION ENTRANTS
Mick Brookes - General secretary, NAHT union
Richard Cairns - Head and chief executive, Brighton College
Gino Carminati - Head, Worth School
Simon Davies - Head, Eastbourne College
Patrick Derham - Head, Rugby School
John Dunford - General secretary, ASCL union
Chris Edwards - Head, Bromsgrove School
Edward Elliott - Head, The Perse School, Cambridge
Magoo Giles - Founder and head, Knightsbridge School
Anita Griggs - Head, Falkner House, London
Robert Holroyd - Head, Repton School
Andrew Hunter - Head, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
Richard James - Head, St Mary's School, Shaftesbury
Caroline Jordan - Head, St George's School, Ascot
Patrick Mattar - Head, Norland Place School, London
John Moule - Head, Bedford School
Alan Steer - Behaviour adviser, DCSF.