Councillor Brigid Jones
As Birmingham's chief of children's and family services, Coun Brigid Jones has an unenviable job.
The city is still reeling in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, while the beleaguered children's services department has been rated inadequate for half a decade.
The Birmingham City Council cabinet member will be under increasing pressure to turn around the failing department in 2015, while she also plays a key role in breaking up the plot by hard-line muslims attempting to take over school governing bodies.
And the heat may already be getting to her. She sensationally swore during a cabinet meeting in November after being grilled by Conservative opposition leader Coun Robert Alden over a lack of improvement in child protection services.
"No s**t is there something wrong with children's services," she said. Let's hope she'll keep her cool in the New Year.
Sir Chris Stone
It has been another year of success for Sir Chris Stone, who continues to become a key player in shaping education in Britain.
The 56-year-old. who was knighted for his services to education in 2013, was recently invited to Downing Street by Prime Minister David Cameron, to celebrate excellence in the sector.
He was also invited to the House of Lords to share his ideas on education with key government, business and political leaders.
And in Birmingham he continues to take the helm as chief executive of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership - an alliance of seven city schools and five children's centres working together to boost standards of education.
Sir Chris seems unstoppable, even helping to train education leaders in Vietnam and Australia.
Sir Michael Tomlinson
This is the man brought in to turn around Birmingham schools in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal.
The 72-year-old was made Birmingham's education commissioner in September, following damning Government and city council investigations into the furore. Sir Michael, whose 50-year career earned him a knighthood, has pledged to make "rapid improvements" at the five schools involved during his 12-month appointment - set to come to an end in September 2015.
Rotherham-born Sir Michael rose from being a chemistry teacher to become Ofsted's chief inspector of schools. He has been the chief adviser for London schools for the last six years and was once responsible for helping re-establish the education system in Kuwait after the first Gulf War.
It has been a busy year for the "super head" who is quickly growing a reputation for bringing outstanding education to Birmingham.
Liam Nolan, who saved the former failing Perry Beeches School in Great Barr from closing seven years ago, is now behind a string of free schools.
A host of famous faces, including comedian Jasper Carrott, helped launch Perry Beeches IV in September. And the chief executive of the Perry Beeches Academy Trust plans to open a further three free schools in the city by 2016, including a primary school.
He claims to be filling a gap in the education sector, opening schools in deprived inner-city areas and "growing" teachers, training many on the job.
It will be a challenging year for Kamal Hanif as he continues to juggle his job as head as a Birmingham school as well as a key player in turning around Trojan Horse academies. Mr Hanif, who was given an OBE in 2012 for his services to education, was earlier this year appointed to the board of trustees running Park View Academy Trust.
He splits his time between running Waverley School in Bordesley Green and serving on the trust, which oversees three of the schools caught up in the scandal - Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen Primary. The schools within the trust were placed in special measures in April after snap inspections by Ofsted after claims hard-line muslims were plotting to take over governing bodies.
Mr Hanif has developed a reputation for leading schools to success, picking up a silver teaching gong at the Pearson National Teaching Awards for his work at Waverley.