Teachers must be happy to know that before they became the chief professional concern of Carol Adams, newly appointed chief executive of the General Teaching Council, it was the crown jewels.
Shropshire's chief education officer, 51, spent part of her early career organising talks and lectures at the Tower of London.
Described as someone "who works carefully and quietly in the background rather than who is going to shout a lot", but also "a good and persuasive talker" and "passionate educationist", she has steadily grown in importance under the Labour government.
She is one of four external advisers to the Department for Education and Employment's new teachers' group. She is also a member of the standards task force and chair of the good ideas/good practice sub-group.
Born in Hackney, she received a scholarship to Christ's Hospital Girls' School before taking a degree in history at the University of Warwick. She then took a PGCE at London University and taught history at inner London state secondary schools.
In 1982, she managed the History and Social Sciences Teacher Centre for the Inner London Education Authority, then became an ILEA chief inspector for equal opportunities, taking an MA in human rights at the Institute of Education at the same time.
When ILEA closed, she became an assistant chief education officer at Haringey, moving to director of education in Wolverhampton in 1990. Four years later, she gained her present post in Shropshire.
Critical of many of the last government's policies, she was not afraid to tell new Labour to resist further changes to school grant-maintained status because it distracted governing bodies from more important preoccupations, such as literacy and numeracy.
A keen jazz follower, she plays the clarinet and saxophone and retains a love of 19th-century industrial history.
People is edited by Harriet Swain and researched by Lynne Williams.
Send all information to Lynne Williams The THES Admiral House 66-68 East Smithfield London E1 9XY Tel 0171 782 3375 Email lynne.williams @newsint.co.uk Full listings of grants, appointments and honours appear on The THES website Netgazette@thesis.co.uk.