Chief Executive - Education and Skills Funding Agency

Department for Education
Either Central London or Coventry
Up to £142,000
03 Apr 2017
25 Apr 2017
Public Sector
Contract Type
Full Time

Vacancy Description

The Chief Executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency will fill one of the department’s most senior leadership roles and is an additional Accounting Officer for the vast majority of the Department for Education’s £66 billion programme and capital spend.

The Education Funding Agency was established in the Department for Education in April 2012 from a merger of previous non-departmental public bodies. The Skills Funding Agency was established in April 2010 within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and was then transferred in July 2016 to the Department for Education as part of Machinery of Government (MoG) changes.

There is a high degree of common functions and common customers between the two agencies, for example FE colleges, sixth form colleges, high needs and special education providers, and independent commercial and charitable providers. Peter Lauener has pursued an agenda of developing shared services and joint teams over the last two years, even while the agencies were in separate departments. Ministers have now decided that the agencies should be merged to maximise scope for further savings and for improving the quality of customer services and the effectiveness of all its functions, taking the best of existing systems and practice across the two agencies and designing the most effective operating models to meet future challenges.

The Chief Executive (Director General level) will be a member of the Board and associated committees. He or she will have corporate responsibilities for:

• Building capability in the Funding Agencies and the Department as a whole;

• Supporting the Permanent Secretary in implementing the outputs of the department’s transformation programme, which will see the department transform itself in order to deliver our programme of reforms to the education and social care landscapes;

• Working with non-executive Board members and other Board colleagues on the corporate development of the Department.


The Director General will be a member of the Top 200 group of the most senior UK civil servants. As such, he or she will contribute to the reform and development of the Civil Service as a whole, working with colleagues in many other departments and services.

Candidates will need to model and promote the Civil Service values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. They will support the principles of equality of opportunity – both as a manager and leader in the Department and in developing policy.


Person Specification

Experience and knowledge:

It is essential in your application that you provide evidence and proven examples in each of the following selection criteria in so far as you are able to. These responses will be further developed and discussed with those candidates invited for interview.

Essential Criteria:

• Successful experience as a proactive, strategic leader operating in a large and complex organisation to deliver excellent outcomes, including high standards of customer service, “winning hearts and minds” across the organisation in the delivery of the vision;

• A track record of delivering demonstrably successful organisational change using modern digital systems and platforms and planning and managing large-scale and complex projects that will deliver transformation and improvement;

• Evidence of building and maintaining credibility and influence with external partners and confidence in accounting for organisational performance in the public arena;

• Successful experience of strategic financial planning, securing significant efficiency savings and large scale service delivery;

• Successful risk management of delivery and a track record of delivering assurance that funding is properly used, securing excellent value for money;

• Evidence of the ability to lead and motivate a strong senior management team and develop an organisation that builds the skills of its people and empowers them within a clear framework of accountability;

Desirable Criteria:

• A good understanding of the education and skills sectors and education more broadly, with the ability to analyse the impact of policy development on schools, colleges and other providers of education and skills;

• Experience of dealing successfully with Government officials, Ministers and policy makers;

• Confidence and conviction in presenting complex issues on a public platform.

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