Headlines: August 3rd, 2001

Peter Housden, the Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire County Council, has been appointed as the new Director General for Schools at the Department for Education and Skills.It’s a second tier post and the one held by DfES Permanent Secretary David Normington until he was promoted to the top job in May.

The Civil Service says it’s another example of someone from outside the service being able to break in at the highest level – it’s the first time this post has gone to someone outside the service. For teachers it’s a sign that the DfES is genuinely taking into the Department people with first hand knowledge of the classroom.

Like Estelle Morris, Peter Housden, 50, is a former teacher. He moved into a local education authority and became Chief Education Officer at Nottingham before being promoted to its chief executive.

He will lead the Department’s Schools Directorate responsible for the development and implementation of policy on early years, childcare and schools. He will be one of the key policy advisers to Education and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris, on schools policy and will have a critical role in leading the implementation of the proposals in the Schools White Paper to be published in September.

He has just completed a six month secondment to the Audit Commission to lead their work on the NHS National Plan.