DfE seeks 16 senior policy advisers ahead of FE 'revolution'

The Department for Education is drafting in a group of new policy experts as it gears up for “revolutionary” changes in FE.

Job adverts for 16 senior advisers to “craft a wide range of policies” within the department’s “higher and further education group” are currently live with annual salaries ranging from £49,000 to £60,000.

It comes as the DfE continues its work on a new White Paper for the FE sector, to be followed by legislation.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said in May that the reforms could be “revolutionary”, and FE Week previously reported that one key option being considered is to bring colleges in England back into public ownership.

Work on the White Paper is being led by Keith Smith, who was redeployed from the Education and Skills Funding Agency in April. He reports to Paul Kett, director general for higher and further education at the DfE.

The 16 policy adviser adverts include five “heads of policy” and 11 “policy leads”.

The successful candidates will be deployed to the DfE’s higher and further education group to work in directorates including careers and further education; further education reform; career learning, analysis, skills and student choice; international; higher education, STEM and tertiary providers; transformation and digital.

Responsibilities will include “leading the delivery of innovative policy reforms”.

“In the role you will quickly familiarize yourself with detailed knowledge to enable you confidently brief ministers and manage relationships with the educational sector,” the adverts add.