HSBC group chairman Sir John Bond said Mrs Richardson was "an outstanding headteacher", who had transformed an inner-city school and would help HSBC make a difference to the prospects of children from all walks of life.
Mrs Richardson is a member of the Government's advisory committees on independent and state school partnerships, on teachers' terms and conditions and on teacher recruitment, as well as a member of the board of governors for HM Prison, Wormwood Scrubs. She joins HSBC on September 1.
Shirley Cramer has been appointed chief executive of the Dyslexia Institute - the UK's leading provider of assessments and tuition for dyslexic people. She replaces the present executive director, Liz Brooks, who is retiring after 13 years, in September.
Mrs Cramer, a graduate in applied social sciences from Bradford University, spent four years as a social worker in Ealing before moving to New York in the early 1980s to take a master's degree in social administration at Columbia University. Since 1984 she has divided her time between London and Nw York, where, from 1995 to 1999, she was director of the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities.
Jenny Watson has been appointed deputy chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission until May 31, 2003. Ms Watson, who was appointed an EOC commissioner in May last year, is deputy director of the Human Rights Act Research Unit and has been campaign and communications manager of Charter 88. She currently chairs the Fawcett Society, where she has led campaigns on women's pensions and the representation of women in politics.
John Baker is to be the next chairman of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He succeeds Sir Peter Marychurch, who will retire at the end of the July. Mr Baker, a company director who is currently chairman of the English National Opera, is also a member of the New Deal Task Force and the Education Standards Task Force. He was made a CBE in the recent birthday honours in recognition of his services to unemployed people and to education.
Marion Bennathan has retired from her position as chair of the Association of Workers with Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties after seven years in the post. Well-known for her publications, especially "Effective Intervention in Primary Schools; Nurture Groups" with Marjorie Boxall, she had a background in social work and teaching. Mrs Bennathan is a member of the Department for Education and Employment's advisory group on special educational needs.