Procurement and Contract Management Lead Job in Bristol at Department for Education –

Reference number





Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

DFE – Social Care, Mobility and Disadvantage Group

Type of role


Operational Delivery

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



Bristol, South West, BS1 6EH : Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 2WT : Darlington, North East, DL1 5QE : Manchester, North West, M1 2WD : Nottingham, East Midlands, NG1 6HJ : Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber, S1 2FJ

About the job


The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Improvement and Operations Division (SIOD) is part of the Children’s Services, Communications & Strategy Group in the Department for Education. This post sits in the Policy and Operations Team whose remit is to develop and manage a spectrum of integrated programmes and intervention activity that underpin the Division’s drive for sustained improvement in local area SEND performance; maximising efficiency, value for money, impact and better outcomes for children with SEND.

It’s a pivotal time in SEND – an increasingly high-profile area with significant public and parliamentary interest; rising costs; an ongoing cross-government review; and multiple manifesto commitments. Vulnerable children are also a key focus of the government’s Covid-19 response, and much of the Division’s work is supporting this.

Job description


  • manage contracts effectively against agreed KPIs, including financial management, with an eye for detail and a solid understanding of where each contract sits within the wider picture;
  • develop detailed, fully-costed proposals for fiscal events such as Spending Reviews and procurement exercises;
  • work at pace to meet tight deadlines for business planning and procurements, liaising across multiple teams such as commercial, finance and data security.
  • be able to challenge delivery support partners and funded stakeholders to take rapid and effective action to support improvement of local SEND services;
  • use your excellent drafting skills to write clear guidance, desk instructions, processes and submissions to ensure all team members are clear as to the core functions of the Division;
  • credibly represent the Department at meetings with funded partners, holding them to account for contractual deliverables;
  • understand local performance across SEND services; high needs funding and related areas and prioritise action to support regional colleagues;
  • engage with the full range of SEND stakeholders, users and expert advisers to ensure the root cause of the challenges in each local area are well understood, and that funded programmes continue to offer credible solutions.


The job holder will have the following essential skills and experience:

  • Commercially astute, with experience of end-to-end delivery of funded programmes by ensuring tight commercial control of finances, resources and contracts to meet strategic priorities.
  • Excellent analytical skills and the ability to convert analysis into robust proposals for action. A strong strategic sense, able to draw broad conclusions as well as make sharp decisions about the detail;
  • Strong project management skills with experience of taking projects from conception through to delivery, using recognised tools to manage risk, finance and quality;
  • Effective stakeholder management and experience in driving progress against deliverables whilst creating a positive and collaborative culture of teamwork;
  • A dedication to and capacity for learning, in particular to understanding the complexities of the SEND system and the sensitivity to engage positively with those most affected by it, particularly parents/carers and children and young people.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Managing a Quality Service

Making Effective Decisions

Changing and Improving

Delivering at Pace


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 -