Deputy Director of Data Engineering

Department for Education



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Location: Bristol, BS1 6EH, Coventry, CV1 2WT, Darlington, DL1 5QE, Manchester, M1 2WD, Nottingham, NG1 6HJ, Sheffield, S1 2FJ,

About the job


At the Department for Education we work to achieve a highly educated society in which opportunity is equal for all, regardless of background or family circumstances. Our remit has broadened considerably in recent years and today we’re responsible for education, children’s services, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England and equalities.

As we strive to provide world-class education, training and care for everyone, data will play a key role in achieving this vision; with a data-led DfE, we know that responsive and confident decision making will lead to better outcomes for all children, young people and adults.

Job description

We are transforming the Data Directorate, so that we can succeed in our desire to become an enterprise level, data service function, supporting DfE to become truly insight driven. DfE has a broad range of rich data and data savvy people, but our tools, processes, data services and approach need to evolve to meet growing demand, so that everyone has easy access to an effective evidence-base to meet the needs of those delivering a world-class education system.

We are at the start of our transformation journey and this is one of three key appointments we’ll be making to enable us to deliver industrial, world class data products and services, including data as a service, insight and statistics, knowledge and information management and profession data and statistics advisory services. Such developments will help us to accelerate progress and operate with greater confidence, pace and clarity to ensure that good decisions are made and positive impact maximised.

Reporting to the Chief Data Officer, you will lead a newly created Data Engineering division of the Data Directorate, building internal capability to ensure that we are equipped to develop and operate a range of new data products and services across the Directorate and beyond, in support of the Education sector. Accountable for leading our day-to-day data engineering activities, you’ll also direct and manage the Data

Directorate transformation agenda in close partnership with the rest of the business, shaping and driving our Directorate’s programme of activity in a way that makes this change accessible, inclusive and open to all, whilst ensuring that the department has a capable, motivated and sustainable Data Engineering Team.

This is a new profession for the Data Directorate and we are looking for an expert in the field who can build a Data Engineering community, whilst establishing and monitoring data engineering practices.


  • As Develop and define the Data Engineering Strategy, including our approaches to data management automation, data quality management and metadata management;
  • Develop, manage and maintain a data hosting and processing environment ensuring that data is ingested, cleansed, enriched and made available centrally;
  • Create a Data Engineering community across the Department, act as the Head of Profession for that community, and be responsible for establishing and governing data engineering standards and processes wherever data engineering is carried out as part of projects or programmes irrespective of project methodology;
  • Work closely with other data driven solutions and services to ensure that they are fully supported by the right processes, systems and service management;
  • Drive forward the implementation of the Data Directorate’s transformation programme;
  • Provide strong leadership and support at a senior-level for data engineering solutions that can transform the Directorate’s, and Department’s current and future business programmes;
  • Ensuring all data solutions are designed, built and procured to balance the needs of users and the business, incorporating relevant standards, and are accessible to all;
  • Deliver resilient and effective Data Engineering Services that can be iteratively improved over time to meet the needs and expectations of stakeholders and users;
  • Embed a common approach to data, developing standards and ensuring the effective storage, sharing and use of data to increase the impact and effectiveness of the Directorate’s services;
  • Ensure all products and services adhere to the Department’s Data Governance principles and processes, including data quality and data lineage monitoring and metadata management
  • Develop the capability and culture aligned to the four DfE principles:
  • Build, attract and retain expert talent across the function;
  • Embed the most effective structures for successful delivery and ensure an appropriate balance of in-house and third party resource;
  • Work closely with the Head of Data Operations and Chief Data Architect to ensure data solutions minimise Total Cost of Ownership and maximise data quality.


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

  • Developing Self and Others
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Changing and Improving
  • Leadership


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