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DfE’s Digital and Technology division is constantly growing and transforming, and a key 2021 priority is to respond to the needs of children and students. You can find out more in Chief digital technology officer Emma Stace’s blog, DfE digital and technology strategy.

Digital and Technology teams serve three key user groups: children, schools, and teachers. Content designers work within every multi-disciplined product team and make sure all users get what they need as easily as possible.

For children, teams create services supporting the early years of childhood and children’s social care. Teams also help children access laptops and other technology.

For schools, teams run remote education programmes, help schools buy what they need efficiently, and enable schools to become academies.

For teachers, teams encourage people to become teachers, support new teachers in developing their career, and make it easier for teachers to find jobs.

As a Content Designer, you will:

  • Use evidence, data, and user research to devise content strategies and tactics, and work closely with digital and data specialists to improve user outcomes.
  • Create, iterate, review and update content for new and existing services to meet user needs across a whole end-to-end journey.
  • Be responsible and accountable for the accuracy, clarity, efficacy and success of content in your area.
  • Build positive working relationships across teams and professions to advocate for user needs, and understand and influence stakeholders.
  • Manage relationships with stakeholders, including subject matter experts, to gain understanding and make sure all content is accurate and clearly understood.
  • Establish and maintain the highest standards of accuracy, accessibility, and professionalism even if deadlines are tight and information elusive.


Essential Criteria

As a Content Designer, you’ll be able to demonstrate experience of the below essential criteria.

  • Creating content designed to meet user needs and make complex language and processes easy to understand, always in the right format for your users
  • Having a solid user focus, and comfortable formulating hypotheses, gaining insights from data and user research, and taking decisions on those
  • Writing, editing, publishing and continuously improving content online.
  • Working with agile methodology, comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, and flexible in approach. Used to using a range of tools and platforms to manage work priorities.
  • Using prototyping techniques, enabling concepts to be swiftly communicated to colleagues and potential users to enable fast progress.
  • Working closely with diverse stakeholders to understand their views, whilst maintaining content quality and managing expectations.
  • Thinking strategically, contributing to content strategies, and creating content patterns or standards.
  • Working with data, feedback, user research, online analytics, and other sources of information to improve content.
  • Managing your own projects and adapting to changing priorities.

Technical skills

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

  • Stakeholder Relationship Management
  • User-Centred Content Design
  • Strategic Thinking


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 Queen’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.

Things you need to know


  • Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
  • People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

Stage one - The Sift

  • You will be assessed at sifting through your CV and Statement of Suitability. Please align your CV and statement to the essential criteria in the responsibilities section of the advert, and tell us why you are passionate about working for DfE.
  • If we receive a high number of applications we will be sifting on the first three essential criteria.

Stage two - The Interview

  • Prior to the interview, you will be sent a short 30-minute task to complete, a full brief will be sent to successful candidates following the sifting process.
  • At the interview, we will ask you strength, technical skills and experience-based questions. We will ask open-ended questions to which we are seeking answers/evidence of essential, previous skills, and experience.
  • You will also be asked to present examples from 3 products, projects, or services that you think best represent your work and achievements as a content designer in a 15-min presentation to the interview panel.

Other Information

For this role the department would not consider sponsoring a Certificate of Sponsorship/visa. Please note we are unable to offer advice on any Visa and Immigration cases.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Department of Education of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.DFE@education.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Department for Education do not cover the cost of travel to your interview/assessment unless otherwise stated.

A reserve list may be held for a period of 6 months from which further appointments can be made.

Candidates will be posted in merit order based upon location preference. Where more than one location is advertised you will be asked to state your preferred location.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band. Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

Terms and conditions of candidates transferring from ALBs and NDPBs

Bodies that are not accredited by the Civil Service Commission and are not able to advertise at Across Government on Civil Service jobs will be treated as external new starters and will come into DfE on modernised terms and conditions with a salary at the band minimum.

Bodies that are accredited by the Civil Service Commission but do not have civil service status will be offered modernised terms and will not have continuous service recognised for leave or sickness benefits. Salaries should be offered at band minimum, but there is some flexibility where this would cause a detriment to the individual.

Bodies that are accredited by the Civil Service Commission and do have Civil Service status will be treated as OGD transfers. Staff appointed on lateral transfer will move on to pre-modernised DfE terms (unless they were on modernised terms in their previous organisation). Staff appointed on promotion will move on to modernised DfE terms. Staff will transfer over on their existing salary (on lateral transfer) and any pay above the DfE pay band maximum will be paid as a mark time allowance. Staff moving on promotion will have their salaries calculated using the principles set out in the attached OGD transfer supplementary information.

Reasonable adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

  • - Contact Department for Education via centralrecruitment.operations@education.gov.uk soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
  • - Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Any move to the Department for Education from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.”

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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 equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Name : Ashley Ellis

Email : ashley.ellis-beeston@education.gov.uk 

Recruitment team :

Email : advertsrecruitment.dfe@education.gov.uk

Further information

The Department for Education’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Principles, which outlines that selection for appointment is made on merit based on fair and open competition. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the values in the Civil Service Code and/or if you feel the recruitment has been conducted in such a way that conflicts with the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Principles, you may make a complaint, by contacting the Central Recruitment Team at the following address CentralRecruitment.Operations@education.gov.uk If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint you have the right to complain to the Civil Service Commissioners.

We encourage diverse candidates

At DfE, we are proud of the commitment we make to diversity and inclusion and of the progress we have made. We have a variety of staff networks and groups for all employees to join, whether you identify yourself as someone who the network is aimed towards or if you just have an interest in diversity and inclusion matters.


DfE Appeals Process  (docx, 23kB)

DfE Terms & Conditions  (docx, 23kB)

OGD Transfer Supplementary Information (docx, 51kB)

Interested? Apply for this role GBP £36k-40k annual Apply
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