Head of Governance, Education and Skills Funding Agency

Department for Education
14 Jun 2018
28 Jun 2018
Job Type
Contract Type

Who we are

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) brings together the responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA), creating a single funding agency accountable for funding education and training for children, young people and adults.

ESFA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Education.

Your role

Good governance is at the heart of delivering our priorities, both now and in the future. This leadership role is responsible for the successful delivery of these areas of work, working alongside our Executive Team to ensure the agency complies with the rules of good governance.

You will head up the Governance team, with responsibility for:

• ESFA's corporate governance

• ESFA's corporate governance

• planning, performance and risk

• providing support to the Chief Executive

• business continuity

• health and safety

• information management

• compliance with GDPR

• cyber security

• Freedom of Information

The post holder will also work alongside our parent department's Property Asset Management Unit to ensure the agency's estate management meets our needs and is aligned to the DfE estates strategy.

You will be an experience governance officer with a strong background in planning and performance and risk reporting, preferably with relevant qualifications.

You will be leading a strong team to deliver the following priorities:

• Working with our senior leadership team to develop the agency's business plan that enables the agency to set out clearly how it will deliver its vision, mission and priorities in a 3-year cycle.

• Aligned to our business plan, improve and embed a risk management framework that puts risk management at the heart of the agency's work, ensuring the agency is focussed on its top risks, offering advice and challenge to ensure the risks are being managed both strategically and tactically.

• Deliver ongoing improvements to the agency's performance management and reporting framework, enabling the agency and its senior stakeholders to assess progress with confidence against the business plan.

• Lead the delivery of the agency's annual report and accounts, working with senior leaders, finance colleagues and the National Audit Office to deliver an accurate, timely and clearly written document that meets the needs of our stakeholders.

• Oversee the delivery of the agency's corporate boards, ensuring they are delivered to the highest standards to enable members to hold strong, strategic discussions based on accurate and timely information.

• Oversee the support office of the Chief Executive, ensuring they receive the highest level of service to support their day-to-day activities and to fulfil their duties as Accounting Officer for the ESFA.

• Lead the development of our security governance structure and intelligent customer function to deliver assurance to the Chief Executive on physical, system and information security issues, including the agency's compliance with the GDPR and business continuity.

• Lead the Freedom of Information process for the ESFA, overseeing responses to information and data protection requests, and keep abreast of developments to ensure agency compliance with data protection regulations.

• Agree a long-term estates management strategy aligned with our parent department, the Department for Education.

About you

• You will have a strong governance background with a proven record in delivering improvements to the governance in your organisation.

• A governance-focussed qualification would be an advantage.

• Confidence to provide advice and challenge to senior leaders and stakeholders to ensure good governance is adhered to.

• You have strong leadership and people skills, empowering others to deliver a high standard of service.

• You are diligent and with a strong eye for due process, whilst seeking the simplest and clearest way of delivering against the agency's obligations.

• You are motivated and driven and can motivate others to engage in and get excited about what we are doing.

• You are honest about yourself and your development. You proactively look for ways to improve and broaden your knowledge.

• You make the most of your working week and truly make a difference to the agency and wider department.



We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
  • Leading and communicating
  • Delivering at pace
  • Managing a quality service
  • Collaborating and partnering

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


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.

Other Benefits

You will have 25 days leave, increasing by 1 day every year to a maximum of 30 days after 5 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, along with excellent childcare benefits.

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

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

An initial sift based on competency 1 may be held if a large number of applications are received.

If your application progresses to a full sift, all competences will then be considered.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.