Personal Assistant and Diary Manager to the Deputy Director

Department for Education
14 Sep 2017
12 Oct 2017
Contract Type

There are currently over 6000 academies (including free schools, studio schools and UTCs) in England, all ultimately accountable to the Secretary of State for Education.

The introduction of the Regional Schools Commissioners in 2014 and development of eight regional offices provides an excellent opportunity to work closely with a variety of key stakeholders. For further background information on Regional Schools Commissioners:

We are recruiting to the positions of Personal Assistant/Diary Manager to the Deputy Directors (DDs) for the ARDG South East and South London. The Deputy Directors work to the Regional School Commissioner, supporting delivery of regional priorities.

As a Personal Assistant, you will be the first point of contact for a Deputy Director within the South East and South London Regional School Commissioner's Office. You will manage their office, anticipating and solving problems before they arise and liaising frequently with senior colleagues and external stakeholders. This fast-paced, high-profile position offers the opportunity to work at the centre of the team and gain significant exposure to team members and stakeholders.

You will be proactive, enthusiastic, have good judgement and first-rate organisational skills. You will also be able to work at pace and remain calm under pressure.

Key responsibilities for the role include:

• Proactively managing the DD's diary to ensure meetings and engagements are both managed effectively and prioritised in line with the DD's objectives.

• Providing effective lines of communication between the DD, internal colleagues and external stakeholders. Ensuring all telephone calls are answered promptly, and emails responded to in a timely manner; filtering and redirecting as appropriate.

• Taking ownership of key tasks on behalf of the DD, and ensuring they are delivered on time and to a high standard, including coordinating returns from within the team and establishing agendas for a number of meetings.
• Commissioning briefings, speaking notes and return correspondence, and scrutinising them to ensure they are of consistently high quality.

• Maintaining a timely flow of information to the DD, prioritising issues as necessary, identifying actions, and providing steers.

• Developing professional relationships with, and acting as a first point of contact for stakeholders within and outside the Department who engage with the DD.

• Accompanying the DD to meetings and engagements, where appropriate.

• Maintaining a strategic overview of departmental and ARDG SESL business and priorities to inform these activities.

• You may also be asked to contribute to the wider work of the directorate when priorities arise.

Previous experience of working as a Personal Assistant or Diary Manager would be desirable.


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

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

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

All Civil Servants are eligible to apply regardless of their current grade. Role is also open to external applicants.

All staff will be treated equally and the post filled on merit. Priority will be given to substantive surplus staff.

All internal applicants applying for a vacancy advertised on promotion will be appointed on new terms of employment if they accept the post on promotion.

Applicants who accept the post on level transfer will retain their existing rights.

Your application form should provide evidence of your skills and abilities for the four competencies below.

In the event of a high volume of applications, an initial sift will take place based on the lead competency only (managing a quality service).

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.

It may be that you meet the required benchmark after your interview, but you are not offered a post immediately. In this event, we will hold your details on a reserve list for 12 months.

Completion of the Nationality & Immigration Status Form is mandatory for all candidates including existing DfE staff. Please return this with your completed application form.

We would like you to complete the "Diversity Monitoring Form". The information you provide us with will be treated as confidential and will not form part of the application process.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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.