Data Analysts, Standards and Testing Agency (STA)

Department for Education
19 Jun 2017
01 Jul 2017
Contract Type

The Agency:
The STA is the part of the DfE responsible for the development of statutory assessments for pupils up to the age of 14, delivery of these assessments to schools and support in administering them. This includes managing external suppliers who provide printing, distribution and marking services, and coordinating data capture to facilitate the return of reliable results to schools by the published deadlines. STA is also responsible for the Professional Skills Tests for prospective teachers and the General Qualifications (GQ) logistics operation. The work of the STA is of a high priority to Ministers, and is regulated by Ofqual, the independent assessment regulator that reports directly to Parliament.

The forthcoming year will be an interesting time for the team because STA is mobilising a new external test delivery contract and the Data Team will be deeply involved in the setup of customer systems and processes. Additionally the team are implementing a new sql database so the role could be of interest to analysts seeking to consolidate or build on existing sql skills.

The Post:
The Data team, and the role, exist to ensure successful delivery of National Curriculum primary assessments, and to assure the quality of the data that primary schools receive for school accountability, which underpins the primary school performance tables.

The post holder will be responsible for data management and analysis of data outputs, ensuring STA meet quality standards in their work to provide confidence in the data as it moves through our systems.

The post holder will be line managed by the Data Team Lead, (non-technical), with a dotted reporting line to the team's Lead Data Analyst for technical management.

Key Responsibilities:
• Provision and assurance of Test Orders and Pupil Registration data to internal and external customers responsible for printing, dispatch and test administration.
• Provision of Print and Collation data for Phonics, Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) assessments.
• Production, analysis and assurance of KS2 pupil test results ensuring that STA return high quality data to schools and customers on time.
• Collection and provision of KS2 Teacher Assessment data from schools and Local Authorities to Education Data Division, including supporting helpdesk and schools to resolve any issues and deal with any anomalies.
• To support the STA Systems team in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) of enhancements to existing systems, as well as any new customer systems introduced in the future.
• Supporting the production of documentation and management information, assurance of processes and providing team representation at operational meetings as required.
• To support production of our Statistical First Release (SFR), which reports on the outcomes of reviews of KS2 assessment marking.

The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management that are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.

Person specification

Essential Skills:

The post holder will have a strong background in data management, particularly automating processes via one or more scripting languages. They should have the ability to think rigorously about the complex issues involved in data collection and manipulation and have practical experience of applying a range of problem-solving techniques. They should have experience of using a range of datasets including large datasets, identifying, investigating and documenting oddities in the data where appropriate.

Experience using Excel and either SPSS or SQL scripting syntax is essential.

Preferred Skills:

Experience using VBA and/or SQL is desirable.


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
Managing a quality service Delivering at pace Changing and improving Making effective decisions
Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


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.

Other Benefits:

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, along with excellent childcare benefits.

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.

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

An initial sift based on competency 1: 'Managing a Quality Service' may be held if a large number of applications are received.

If your application progresses to a full sift, all competencies will then be considered.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a 'previous experience and skills' section. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Interview candidates will be required to complete a task as part of their interview; no advance preparation will be required.

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.

Salary: GBP31,288 (National) GBP34,935 (London) - GBP34,739 (National) GBP38,592 (London). Date posted: 15/06/2017