Department for Education

Prepare for the Department for Education recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Department for Education Aptitude Tests

Careers At The Department For Education

The Department for Education is the UK government department responsible for education and children's services within England. Its duties cover the provision of further and higher education, apprenticeships, traineeships, primary and secondary schooling, and early years educational support.

It ensures local services support and protects children, aiming to make sure children from all backgrounds can achieve whilst in education. Alongside this, it holds a responsibility to support the professionals who work with learners of all ages.

This wide remit means that there is a wide range of jobs of offer within the Department for Education. The careers are rewarding, with competitive salaries and employee benefits.

The Types Of Roles On Offer At The Department For Education

To ensure educational provision is fully supported, the roles within the Department for Education can be split into three areas: education, training, and care.

There is a range of opportunities available in specialisms underneath these umbrellas, such as:

  • Administration – Workforce Planning & Resourcing, Executive Assistant roles, Data Stewardship Officers.
  • Research - User Researchers, People Analytics Managers.
  • Delivery – Case Managers, Case Delivery Workers, Project Managers, Senior Case Managers, Agile Delivery Managers, Service Advisors and Design Leads.
  • Finance – Financial Planning and Management Leads, Accountants, Assurance Officers (Finance & Audit) and Funding Coordinators.
  • Policy – Strategic Resource Planners, Planning, Risk & Governance roles
  • Commercial – Business Analysts, Senior Business Analysts and Digital & Technology Business Analysts.
  • Digital – Software Test Engineers, Application Support Engineers and Software Developers.
  • Communications – Media Officers, Communications Managers and Content Producers.

To see active vacancies, search Civil Service Jobs using the Department for Education search filter. Full-time, part-time and job share roles are available, as well as flexible working.

Whether you are interested in contributing towards the educational experience of children under five, college-age students or adult learners, the Department of Education will have an opportunity for you. You will be working to support the delivery of educational standards across the country.

Department for Education staff are based at the ministerial offices in London and at several other regional city locations.

What Do The Department For Education Look For In Applicants?

The Department for Education seeks talented employees who are passionate about making a difference both through and within education in England.

The department recruits individuals who are motivated by finding solutions, managing progress and creating change.

The ideal candidate has an inquiring mind and can take their own initiative. They work well collaboratively, as in role employees work as part of a team and deal with multiple supporting organisations and agencies.

They also have strong communication skills – both written and oral - and are dedicated to improving education for all.

Department For Education Application Process Stages

The application process for the Department of Education requires applicants to submit a CV and a personal statement online.

Your CV should cover your education and training, work experience and highlight your relevant skills.

The personal statement should refer to the essential criteria listed in the job description and evidence of how you meet each requirement. It can be up to a maximum of 1250 words, but a well-structured, clear, and concise response is recommended.

If you pass the CV screening process, you may be invited to sit a series of aptitude tests to assess your technical capabilities.

Numerical Reasoning Tests

A numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to handle numbers and interpret data presented in the form of graphs, charts and tables. Questions may include basic arithmetic, fractions, ratios, sequences, currency conversions, and algebra.

The test is multiple choice and must be completed within the given time limit. This means you will need to answer the questions quickly and accurately to achieve a high score.

Verbal Reasoning Tests

Verbal Reasoning testsassess your capacity to understand, analyse, and interpret written information. You will be given a series of paragraphs and asked a set of questions relating to each.

The most common form of a question will present a statement and ask whether it is true, false or if you cannot say given the information provided. You must read all information provided carefully to make the correct assertion.

There may also be questions on sentence structure, word meanings, antonyms, and synonyms.

The questions will again be multiple choice and must be completed within the given time limit.

The Department for Education Interview

Candidates that pass the aptitude tests (if relevant for the position), will be invited to interview. Interviews take place remotely via Microsoft Teams.

The interview will delve deeper into your experience for the role and your skills and competencies. It will also assess your behaviours to see if you are a good fit for the culture and values of the Department for Education.

Ensure you carefully review the job criteria and your personal statement before the interview, as you are likely to be asked about the points listed.

Tips To Get Hired At The Department For Education

Practice The Tests

If you are invited to sit online psychometric tests as part of your application process, complete practice assessments before attempting the official assessment. Aptitude tests can be tricky due to the question style and time pressure involved. Taking practice tests enables you to become familiar with the format, content, and pace of the tests.

Use Exam Conditions

When practicing for your aptitude tests, use exam conditions. This means sitting practice tests in a quiet environment, free from distraction, to give yourself the best chance of focusing. It also means adhering to the pace required for the official test. Even if you do not have full practice papers, calculate the pace needed – which is very often around 30 – 40 seconds per question – and answer any questions under timed conditions.

Resit The Questions You Get Wrong

When practicing, take time to review your answers and highlight the areas which need improvement. Practice papers are a great tool for tailoring your preparation approach and prioritising your time, but only if you seek to actively learn from your mistakes. The act of completing the papers alone is unlikely to result in achieving your desired score.

Read The Questions Before The Passage

When sitting verbal reasoning tests, it may help to read through the questions (including all multiple-choice options) before you start to read the passage. Approaching the information in this way means that you can look for salient information as you read, increasing the speed at which you reach the correct answer.

Always read both the questions and passages carefully. The pace is important, but it is vital that you pay close attention to the information given and make no assumptions.

Back Up Your Talent

In the interview, it is crucial that you clearly evidence your skills and competencies using your work experience. The STAR method (situation, task, action, result) can be useful to ensure that you are structuring your responses in the right manner.

Don't be afraid to take a breath before responding, to ensure you are using the strongest example to evidence your point. Thoughtful, well-structured responses are much better than rushed professions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Employee Benefits Are Offered By The Department For Education?

Employees receive 25 days annual leave (plus bank holidays) and five days allowance for learning and development each year. On top of this, they are entitled to three days of paid leave for volunteering, funded training, pension contributions and maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

Where Will I Work?

The Department for Education employs over 6000 people across 11 office locations in the UK. Alongside the main London office, these include Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Croydon, Darlington, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, and Sheffield.

What are the highest paying jobs at the Department for Education?

All roles at the Department for Education offer a competitive salary and employee benefits. The highest paying roles are largely within the policy, digital and business areas. There are career advancement opportunities throughout the department, with senior roles and head of strategy and concept roles.

Does The Department For Education Offer Apprenticeships?

Yes, direct entry via live vacancies is not the only option for students and young professionals. The Civil Service offers the chance to experience what it is like to work for its different departments through apprenticeships. These give the opportunity to be involved in real projects, improve your workplace skills and gain experience to add to your CV.

There are also internships and graduate programmes available as an entry point into the Civil Service and Department for Education.

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