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Andy Roberts, chief education officer of Islington Council in London, is leaving to become director of education and cultural services of Wokingham Council in February next year. He has been with Islington since September 1998, arriving only nine months before OFSTED produced a damning report on the borough's education provision that will lead to the privatisation of most of its services. Before moving to Islington, Mr Roberts was assistant director of education in Hartlepool, where he led the council's nationally recognised drive to raise standards.

Ian Harrison, director of education for Newham Council in London, has been promoted to the combined role of deputy chief executive and director of education. His appointment comes only months after Newham received an inspection report describing its education service as "a model for

others to follow".

David Livesey is to be the Cambridge director of the newly announced Cambridge-MIT Institute, which will undertake research and education to improve the competitiveness of the UK and develop common courses with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in science, technology, engineering and management. Dr Livesey is currently secretary general of the faculties of Cambridge university.

Alexander Ferguson is to retire next June after 14 years as principal of Otley College in Suffolk, which has become one of the leading agricultural colleges in the country under his leadership. When he moved to Otley in 1986, there were some 80 day-

release students a week and some school links and short courses but few full-time students. Now, there are about 1,000 full-time students, 5,000 part-time, and the college offers everything from day release to a new masters degree in conservation management.

Marilyn Cass is to be the next headmistress of Shrewsbury High School when Susan Gardner retires next summer. Mrs Cass, who is currently deputy head of Redland High School for Girls in Bristol, has had an unusual career. After school at Folkestone Grammar and the Royal School, Bath, she attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and served for nearly six years in the Army. While bringing up her two sons, she obtained a first class honours degree in geography from Exeter University and a postgraduate certificate in education from the College of St Mark and St John. Her first teaching post was at her old school, the Royal School, where she was promoted to be head of geography, head of modern studies and a housemistress before moving to Redland High.

Alwyn Welch has become chairman of the Information Technology National Training Organisation. He is chief executive and managing director of Cap Gemini UK, which is the leading European IT services and management consultancy, employing some 8,000 people in the UK and Ireland.

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