The task force will be led by Hamish Robertson, former under secretary for schools in the Scottish Office education department.
The other task force members are Robert Barfoot, headteacher of Rosebank Primary School, Nairn; Bruce Malone, headteacher of St Andrew's Secondary School, Glasgow; Richard Staite, headteacher of Beeslack High School, Penicuik; Charles Skene, chairman of the Skene Group of Companies; and Martha Steedman, former headteacher of the independent St Leonards School, St Andrews.
The remit of the task force is to advise the secretary of state on strategies to improve performance in primary and secondary schools which are under achieving with a view to improving pupil achievement generally and also to securing greater value for money for the resources committed to school education.
'I am delighted that individuals of the calibre of those appointed have agreed to serve. Mr Barfoot will bring experience from the primary sector, and Mr Staite and Mr Malone will provide experience from the secondary sector covering both non-denominational and denominational interests. Mrs Steedman will bring experience from the independent sector and Mr Skene will provide experience from the business and industry sector.
'I look forward to hearing the recommendations of the task force on how further to improve standards in our schools.'