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Colin Hilton is to be Liverpool's new director of education and lifelong learning. Mr Hilton, currently director of community, education and leisure for the metropolitan borough of St Helens, takes up his post on December 1.

His three top managers will be Barbara Hughes, currently education services manager at Dundee City Council, who becomes head of education support services; Howard Cooper, headteacher of Sefton's Manor High School who becomes head of school effectiveness; and Ann Melville, currently Liverpool's head of policy and resources, who becomes the city's head of strategy and resources.

Liverpool's former director of education, Frank Cogley, and four heads of department took early retirement after a critical inspectors' report on the city's education service.

Kim Reynolds has been appointed professor of children's literature at the Roehampton Institute in London. This is only the second chair in the subject in the UK. Dr Reynolds directs the new National Centre for Research in Children's Literature, at the institute. The centre will carry out research projects, such as its surveys of child-reading habits, and run summer schools, conferences and an MA in children's literature.

William Plowden, consultant on public management reform and son of Lady Plowden, author of the ground-breaking 1967 report on primary education, is one of four new members of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority board. Dr Plowden is a former senior civil servant and former director of the Royal Institute of Public Administration.

The others are: Jenny Fitton, principal of Taunton's (sixth form) College, Southampton; prominent Northern Ireland businessman Peter McKie, chairman of PHM Associates, a company he set up to train senior managers in health and safety; and Jean Tomlin, human resource director of Prudential Banking and operations director of Prudential Direct.

Lynne Berry is the new chief executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Formerly executive director of the Charity Commission, she chaired the Joseph Rowntree commission on standards in the voluntary sector.

Six members have been appointed to the board of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, which advises the Government on educational technology.

They are: Sheila Penny, head of Ladybrook primary school, Stockport; Paul Kelley, head of Monkseaton language college, Whitley Bay; David Hargreaves, professor of education at Cambridge University and joint vice-chair of the Government's standards taskforce; John Taylor, principal of Park Lane FE College, Leeds; Peter Weston, technology adviser to Flintshire council; and David Reynolds, professor of education at Loughborough University.

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