Senior Data Scientist

Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 26th September 2021


Reference number



per annum


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

OFSTED - Digital and Information

Type of role

Architecture and Data
Knowledge and Information Management

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



2 Rivergate, Bristol

About the job


Senior Data Scientists play a crucial role in the effective running of Data and Insight and in leading the team in which they work. They provide vital support to their team leader by taking a wide range of responsibilities. They will focus on leading the development of inspection risk assessment and forecasting processes, utilising both technical and analytical skills.

Senior Data Scientists will develop technical expertise in the systems used to manage our data and process our data. They will have strong syntax, informatics and programming skills for updating our models and running analyses in R and other mathematical modelling software. They will also develop the technical skills to extract relevant data from the Data Warehouse using SQL server, and will specify automated checks to ensure the quality of those extracts. They will develop skills in analysis, analysing data appropriately and applying an understanding of the policy and the wider context to deliver high quality outputs which are disseminated and have impact across Ofsted.

The post holder will develop expertise in acquiring, processing and utilising data to inform decisions at Ofsted. The postholder will provide leadership in risk assessment and forecasting, using the latest data science techniques, liaising closely with staff in the immediate work area and other areas across Ofsted to develop and deliver our mathematical modelling outputs, share knowledge and build on existing expertise. They will employ data science, statistical and analytical problem solving skills to conduct research and development. They will create informative and accessible data visualisations and commentary to present their findings to a range of audiences, including non-specialists. They will be expected to operate as part of a team to drive forward areas of work and to lead projects. There may be a requirement to manage a small team of data analysts.

The post holder is expected to build strong relationships across Data and Insight and across the organisation to ensure research and analysis is informed by and informs policy development.

Job description

Please refer to the job specification for further information.


The key responsibilities of the role are outlined below. However, this is an overview of the role and is not exhaustive. Ofsted reserves the right to assign other duties commensurate with the B1 APT grade as required.

> To effectively lead and manage a team to deliver a programme of work.

> To drive forward development and delivery of inspection risk assessment and forecast modelling, primarily in the schools remit, researching new data sources and making recommendations for how they are used.

> To acquire knowledge of a range of data sources, how they are currently used or could be used to improve our existing models, and how they are affected by policy changes.

> To research, design and deliver timely and accurate pre-inspection data and analysis which meet the needs of inspectors, policy and operational leads within Ofsted, and reflect government priorities.

> To be an expert in Data Science techniques such as machine learning and text analysis and share this knowledge with other analysts in Data and Insight.

> To communicate the findings of their analyses clearly and with impact with a range of stakeholders, using appropriate tools such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word and other presentation software, and to monitor the impact made through analysis.

> To be innovative and curious in investigating hypotheses and pursuing analysis, delivering frequent new or updated insight into inspection, risk assessment and forecast modelling, and the relevant sector.

> To develop strong relationships with colleagues across the organisation to ensure that measures and data products are developed to meet identified needs and that analysis and evidence informs policy making.

> To work closely with colleagues within Data and Insight to ensure that work is joined-up and focused on organisational priorities.

> To work with partners in other organisations to ensure that outputs from their data products and projects are relevant for Ofsted’s needs and that Ofsted understands them and is able to use them effectively.

> To keep up to date with research in their area and the latest data science techniques, so that work is informed by the latest findings and outputs fit into the wider policy context.

At all times the post holder will be expected to operate in accordance with Ofsted’s policies, procedures and values and be positive about safeguarding children, valuing diversity, respecting differences and promoting equal opportunities.


Degree level qualification or equivalent relevant knowledge and experience or professional qualification. (Essential).

RSS ordinary certificate in statistics or equivalent or higher qualification incorporating statistics. (Desirable)

Completion of Data Science accelerator programme. (Desirable).


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

  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • Well-developed technical skills in a range of appropriate programming languages for example in R, Python and SQL to acquire, manage, manipulate and analyse large and complex sets of data and identify the key findings.
  • Highly developed statistical or research skills in designing and carrying out appropriate data analysis, implementing quality assurance procedures, summarising key findings and communicating them with impact.
  • Experience of successful engagement with internal and/or external stakeholders. Ability to advise and make recommendations to decision-makers that are well-founded and reliable to influence the course of action or thinking.
  • Experience of managing a programme of data science work and a set of people in order to deliver defined objectives and priorities.


Ofsted is committed to maintaining employee health and wellbeing, whether it is physically, emotionally, financially or socially, and offers a range of benefits to support employees in this. Such benefits include the option to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme, professional and personal development opportunities, 32.5 annual leave days per annum (plus eight days public holiday) and access to counselling and advisory services.

Any move to Ofsted 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

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 Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

The selection panel will assess your application based on your evidence you have provided against the essential and desirable criteria as set out in the job description and person specification.


Interviews are likely to be available for successful candidate’s during the week commencing Monday 11 October 2021.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on the listed Behaviours, Technical and Experience set out in the job description and person specification.

Candidates will be required to do an assessment. Further details will be provided to shortlisted candidates in advance of the interviews.

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we will hold interviews either in person at 2 Rivergate, Bristol or via Teams video call (dependent on government guidance).

Please note that recruitment dates can sometimes be subject to change.

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 settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of 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

Job contact :
Name :  Jennie Mangan
Email :
Telephone :  03000130815
Recruitment team :
Email :

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