Liverpool's executive director for education and lifelong learning, Colin Hilton, (below) will be one of three key advisers to the Local Government Association, which represents local authorities. Mr Hilton is helping to transform the city's education service after a damning inspection.
David Doran has been appointed strategic director for learning at Bedfordshire Council. He will be responsible for schools, libraries, adult education, the youth service and lifelong learning. The former history and economics teacher became a deputy head before joining Bedfordshire in 1990. He replaces Paul Brett.
Jenny Cairns, formerly chief education officer of the London borough of Merton, has stepped in as interim director of education for Thurrock, the unitary authority in south Essex.
Thurrock lost its director of education, Raphael Wilkins, in December when he left to pursue "other educational interests". Mrs Cairns is a senior executive at Capita, an educational services company which Thurrock approached on the advice of the Department for Education and Employment.
Newham Council in London has appointed Angela Drizi, currently asistant director for education in Bradford, to the new post of divisional director for school improvement support. Ms Drizi began teaching in 1975 and was a deputy head in Leeds before joining the city council's education department in 1992 and moving to Bradford in 1996.
John Taylor has been appointed chair of the governing board of BECTA, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, which advises the Government on technology issues. Mr Taylor, principal of Sheffield College, takes over from Heather du Quesnay. His appointment is on an interim basis pending the outcome of BECTA's five-yearly review.
Philip Done has stepped down as principal of Weymouth College in Dorset after five years. Vice-principal Malcolm Jacobs has taken over as acting principal.
The journalist Frances Cairncross (left) is the new chair of the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK's principal funding body for social science research. Ms Cairncross, management editor of The Economist and a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme, will hold the post for at least three years. She replaces Dr Bruce Smith.