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Judith Mullen, warden of Melbourn Village College in Cambridge-shire since 1989 and president of the Secondary Heads Association, has been appointed principal of New College, Leicester's flagship community college.

Ms Mullen, who is on a one-year sabbatical from her post at Melbourn during her SHA presidency, will start her new job on August 31. Leicester's New College will cater initially for 1,400 pupils aged 11 to 18 but has a projected capacity of 1,800.

The Secondary Heads Association has appointed Brian Rowlands to the new post of secretary for SHA Wales. Mr Rowlands, who retires in July as head St Cyres, a grant-maintained school in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, will be responsible to the SHA Wales executive for developing and promoting the association's policy in Wales. He will also for liaise with the Welsh Assembly and other educational bodies in Wales.

Claire Oulton will succeed Gillian du Charme as headmistress of Benenden, the independent girls' boarding school in Kent, in September 2000. Currently head of St Catherine's, Bramley, Mrs Oulton studied at Somerville College, Oxford, and began her career teaching history at Benenden in 1984.

She was appointed head of history at Charterhouse in 1988, one of the first women to lead a boys' public-school teaching department. Aged only 37, she is a mother of two young daughters.

The Commonwealth Institute has appointed Steve Brace as its new director of education. He comes to the institute from ActionAid, where he was head of the charity's development education department.

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