Deputy Director, Further Education Directorate – Bristol and South West Job in Bristol at Department for Education –

Reference number





SCS Pay Band 1

Contract type


Business area

DFE – Education and Skills Funding Agency

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



Bristol, South West, BS1 6EH

About the job


An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Senior Leadership Team of the Further Education Directorate in the ESFA.

The Further Education Directorate’s purpose is to support colleges and independent training providers to offer high quality education and training to all young people and adults in England so that they can reach their potential regardless of their background.

We do this through deploying consistent oversight of colleges and independent training providers, we consider financial health, but also the adequacy and efficacy of governance as well as working closely with Ofsted to consider educational quality. We work alongside and in partnership with the FE Commissioner who is based within the directorate. We also manage and deliver Government programmes such as the European Social Fund and key aspects of the Apprenticeships and T Level programmes.

We work collaboratively across the rest of ESFA, with wider policy teams in DfE, and with partners such as Ofsted, the OfS, SLC, Mayoral Combined Authorities and local authorities.

Job description

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

  • Providing effective oversight of FE colleges and other providers, developing and maintaining strategic relationships with FE Colleges, and identifying and managing risks within the LSE provider caseload
  • Leading the development and delivery of case strategies with internal and external stakeholders to address individual cases of provider failure, providing credible confident advice to Senior Officials and Ministers.
  • Supporting the implementation of the Government’s policies to reform and improve FE.
  • Leading and developing a high-performing team of c 25 people, providing a clear sense of purpose and actively embedding a culture of continuous improvement, and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Leadership of the division, including responding to key corporate and People initiatives and issues, and a substantive contribution to the wider leadership of FE Directorate and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.


The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • Substantial experience of leading operational delivery in a high profile environment with challenging deadlines and public scrutiny, with the personal resilience to adapt quickly to changing priorities
  • A strong track-record in building and leading diverse teams, creating an inclusive culture and environment, and motivating, inspiring and developing capability in people at all levels
  • A proven ability to build trusted relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including Ministers, senior Officials, individual providers and other delivery partners, challenging and influencing at the highest levels
  • Experience in using data and evidence to anticipate and identify emerging risks and issues and make difficult decisions, demonstrating judgement in balancing trade-offs and tensions, and with a strong understanding of the wider political context
  • Evidence of an active and effective corporate contribution to the wider leadership of their organisation or organisational unit. This could include shaping the response to key corporate and people initiatives or challenges, or leading cross-cutting work on behalf of others


Applicants currently holding a permanent post in the Civil Service should note that, if successful, their salary on appointment would be determined by the Department’s transfer / promotion policies.

As a member of the DfE, you will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

You will have 25 days leave, increasing by 1 day every year to a maximum of 30 days after five years’ service. In addition, all staff receive the Queen’s Birthday privilege holiday and 8 days’ bank and public holidays.

We offer flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, term-time working, flexi-time and compressed hours.

As an organisation, which exists to support education and lifelong learning, we offer our staff excellent professional development opportunities.

About the Company

Company: Department for Education –

Company Location:  Bristol

Estimated Salary:

About Department for Education -