DfE seeks chief data officer

Department offers £140,000 for new recruit to lead on data and insight

The Department for Education is offering £140,000 for a chief data officer – Photo credit: PA

The Department for Education has advertised for a chief data officer to develop and deliver a data strategy for the organisation.

The position, offered at a salary of £140,000, is the latest in a series of data-led roles across Whitehall, as the government sets its sights on improving its use of the information it holds.

The new recruit will be responsible for developing and leading on a data strategy for the DfE, which the department said would ensure that all future systems and processes have data and insight at their centre.

The job advert said that the department has “some of the richest datasets in government” and that the data officer would help it to “put evidence at the very heart of all decision-making and improvement investments”.

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The chief data officer will work with the DfE’s chief digital officer, Mark O’Neill, to embed resilient data standards, and make sure these are iterated and adapted continuously, as well as making sure that data needs are properly prioritised and incorporated into all data product delivery.

The department also wants to use the data it holds to create performance tables and web-based information services to schools, parents and the public, the job specification said.

The job advert asked for someone with a track record of leading big-data-led transformation involving multi-disciplinary teams and strong influencing, communication and collaborative skills.

“This is a truly exciting opportunity at the forefront of government, enabling the DfE to deliver excellence across whole lifetime learning,” the advert said. “This is a role which offers an opportunity to work at scale and scope rarely afforded in industry; creating a significant difference to the educational experience of millions of people.”

The chief executive of the civil service, John Manzoni, has repeatedly spoken out in support of increased data use across departments, and the government recently announced plans to create a chief data officer for the whole of Whitehall.

It is understood this role will sit within the Cabinet Office and be overseen by Manzoni, but open recruitment has not yet started.

The deadline for applications for the DfE role is 16 May.​


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