Mr Dutton's role will be to explain to school boards and others the facts about what self-governing schools status means in practice, assist school boards considering seeking self-governing status and provide advice and support to existing and future self-governing schools on any matters relating to the management of their schools.
Mr Dutton takes up his duties immediately.
Scottish education minister Raymond Robertson said: 'I am delighted to appoint a person of Mr Dutton's experience and calibre to this important role. As a former director of education, he will bring a deep understanding of school education and management to this appointment.
Mr Dutton, 55, was director of education at Borders from 1990-95 and before that was deputy director of education at Northumberland CC.