Evaluation and Research Lead

Department of Education Logo
Closing Date: 19/02/2023
Contract Permanent
Working Hours Flexible, Full Time, Part Time
Location Darlington
Salary £51,357
Company Department of Education

Job Description

At DfE, we are proud of the commitment we make to diversity and inclusion and of the progress we have made. We have active & vibrant staff networks, special leave policies and workplace adjustments put in place for those who need them. We are continuing to build a diverse DfE, in an inclusive environment which nurtures and realises potential in all, at all levels. Equality and Diversity – Department for Education

The Department for Education is responsible for Education, Children’s services, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England and equalities. We work to achieve a highly educated society in which opportunity is equal for all, no matter what their background or family circumstances.

Commercial Directorate

The commercial function within the Department for Education ensures that all commercial and procurement activity supports the Department’s priorities and delivers outstanding value for money. It exists to proactively develop commercial solutions for the wider education sector that reduce waste in procurement and release funds for the front line. The function manages many high profile and complex contracts and grants as well as running a highly successful Risk Protection Arrangement for academies and the delivery of an innovative Schools Buying Strategy. Commercial Directorate is currently engaged in an exciting growth and transformation programme, with the aim of becoming the best commercial team in Government.

We’re looking for an experienced Evaluation Lead who is confident in discussing and developing evaluation approaches with stakeholders and delivering them either directly or through others. They should be analytical, inquisitive, able to challenge constructively and feel strongly that evaluation should be of the highest standard. They will work in a multi-disciplinary analytical team including data analysts, user researchers and economists.

Job description

Sitting in the Schools Commercial division the post-holder will:

  • Design and lead the evaluation programme for the division – identifying where evaluation is needed, what type and how to resource it in an effective and proportionate manner
  • Design the evaluation process for several initiatives delivered by Schools Commercial following established best practice across Government
  • Deliver evaluation activities either directly where appropriate or leading on the resourcing of delivery by liaising with the Research Board and commercial expertise to access value for money support
  • Support teams to capture information critical to the delivery of successful evaluations
  • Contribute effectively at project board meetings and in discussions with stakeholders regarding the design, delivery and findings of evaluation activity
  • Write up effective evaluation reports that meet Government standards for publication and deliver the benefits of accountability and learning that solid evaluation can bring
  • Engage with the programme to support an understanding of good evaluation practice and the value it brings

Person specification

Essential Criteria:

  • Applied evaluation experience, at a suitable level to be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of research methodologies and the latest techniques including quantitative, qualitative and evaluation methods (for example at post graduate level).
  • Experience of managing evaluation projects of significant scale sometimes at pace, working with other analysts and ensuring relevant legal, ethical, procurement, and quality assurance practices are followed, ensuring quality of results and methodological rigour.
  • Ability to communicate analysis of complex information clearly, helping others make good use of evidence, even where this is not perfect.
  • Experience of engaging and influencing a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to encourage and facilitate good evaluation practice.


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

  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Leadership
  • Seeing the Big Picture

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 King’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.

Apply Now!

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