Head of Communications, The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (Temporary Maternity Cover from September 2022 to September 2023)

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 3rd July 2022



Reference number



UKSC Pay Band A starting at £58,500 per annum [Range maximum is £78,200] £4000 on-call allowance (pro-rata if part time) for participating in the Court's out of hours rota Starting salary for existing Civil Servants will be dependent on current salary. Salary would be expected at the minimum of the range for a new entrant to the Civil Service.


Grade 7
Band A

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

12 months

Type of role

Communications / Marketing
Press Relations

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share

Number of posts



The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Parliament Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BD


The Supreme Court is the United Kingdom’s (UKSC) highest court of appeal. It hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance, concentrating on cases of the greatest significance. The UKSC is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and (in certain cases) Scotland. The Court plays an important role in the development of UK law. The impact of UKSC decisions extends far beyond the parties involved in any given case, helping to shape our society. Its judgments directly affect everyday lives.

In 2022 the Court will start a wide-ranging administrative Change Programme. The Programme will focus on our people, culture and processes, putting user needs at the heart of everything we do. Technology and online services will be the enabler for building an excellent customer journey, delivering online services that our users rightly expect and need. This will greatly improve our efficiency and effectiveness and we will continue to build on the flexibility and resilience of our workforce providing them with the skills and tools that they need to deliver excellence as part of the Skilled Civil Service. The Programme is also about transparency and outreach so that we can serve the public by ensuring that our work is visible and accessible and trusted.

Job description

An exciting opportunity has arisen to cover the role of Head of Communications while the permanent post holder is away on maternity leave. We are looking for a communications professional to oversee the communications team and support all media and press handling for the Court during the period of absence.
The Head of Communications is responsible for promoting public understanding of the Court and its decisions, managing a complete range of external relations activity.
The postholder will lead a multi-disciplinary team to improve public understanding of the role of the Supreme Court, its independence and the rule of law and help to foster continued public trust and confidence in the Court, its work, and the Justices.
The Communications team is made up of specialists who lead on all aspects of the Supreme Court’s media, PR/campaigns, digital, strategic communications and internal communications, providing a 24/7 service to the media. The team coordinates all corporate FOI responses and provides services including public enquiries, reception, and the telephone switchboard. The team delivers nationwide education and outreach programs, in-person and virtual tours of the Court building, manages commercial hire of spaces at the Court, and supports delivery of an ambitious international engagement programme. As a team we are small, flexible and fully integrated. We pride ourselves on being a proactive and creative team. We deliver integrated comms campaigns to explain - and bring to life - our work for the public as well as engaging our people through internal communications.

The postholder will bring vision and commitment to enable public engagement to flourish by equipping and motivating staff, supporting the delivery of planned initiatives, and facilitating partnerships that extend the reach of our work.


Key Responsibilities:

Advice and Guidance
• Lead the press office in providing expert advice and external communications support.
• Build relationships with key journalists, media outlets and other press offices.
• Take overall responsibility for ensuring all media enquiries are handled effectively, and activity is logged and
• Lead on the Court’s crisis handling and reputation management planning, and being the senior clearance
point for media releases and reactive quotes.
• Actively support the Justices in high profile cases and other sensitive, high-risk situations.
• Arrange and support Justices giving interviews to the media, providing regular briefings and arranging media
• Advise Justices and the Management Board on media and other external relations issues.
• Advise Justices on the preparation of speeches, lectures and articles.
• Incorporate and use Government Communications Service and external comms expertise to reach audiences
in the most appropriate and effective way.
• Advise on the use of the most effective channels, including digital, to enhance the effectiveness of press office.
• Support, advise and actively participate in the forthcoming Change Programme working with the Programme
Team as required to support successful delivery as well as defining and challenging strategies, patterns,
standards, policies and roadmaps to enable delivery.
• Lead on internal communications for the Court, ensuring that all methods of communication are effective and
impactful with a focus on developing the internal comms for the Change Programme.

Education, outreach, international and stakeholder engagement
• Champion the needs of all Court users, visitors and education programme participants throughout the
planning and delivery of services.
• Lead the Communications team to deliver a comprehensive programme of education, outreach, and visits.
• Support the Deputy President and CEO to deliver the Court’s stakeholder engagement strategy.

• Lead and manage the communications team, consisting of 4 x Band C Managers and 3 x Band D Information
• Drive innovation in both how the Supreme Court’s comms works and what it delivers so that it is at the
forefront of modern communications best practice.
• Ensure good working and collaboration between the comms team and other teams across the Court, setting
standards on expected values and behaviours.
• Oversee the efficient handling of Freedom of Information requests and public enquiries.
• Identify and disseminate best practice, proactively seeking ways to improve performance.
• Maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of financial resources, ensuring value for money.

Specific vacancy information and essential criteria:

Temporary (Fixed Term or Secondment/Loan) Position.
This post requires an experienced communications professional, with evidence of strong and visible leadership. You will need the confidence and experience to engage with a diverse range of senior stakeholder, providing advice and challenge when needed.

In addition, you should be able to demonstrate evidence of:
• Delivering media, communications and public engagement strategies and leading teams to support this.
• Acting as a trusted advisor and giving clear, evidence-based advice to senior individuals.
• Understanding the unique challenges of judicial office holders in delivering communications.
• Being able to work under pressure, whilst maintaining sound judgement.
• First-rate news sense and sound judgment, with demonstrable experience working in news, campaigns,
digital and marketing communications at a senior level.
• Demonstrable success in managing high-profile, fast-moving and sometimes complex and sensitive issues
under extreme pressure and public scrutiny.
• Evidence of highly developed interpersonal, influencing and stakeholder engagement skills with the ability to
establish and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders at the
most senior level.
• Experience of leading a team.
• A track record of providing clear, balanced advice at board level.

Hybrid and flexible working
The Court operates under a set of hybrid working principles and all staff are required to be on site at least three days a week, one of those days must be a Wednesday. However, as this role is directly connected to the operations of the Court there must be sufficient cover across the whole Communications Team Monday to Friday.

There are some aspects of this role that may require out of hours working. The post holder will be expected work flexibly to accommodate this requirement and in particular to ensure that the Communications Team is able to effectively support all aspects of the Court’s work.

Flexible working across this role and the team through the use of time off in lieu or varying working patterns to meet these needs is therefore required and only when unavoidable or in exceptional circumstances would out of hours work be paid in addition to the salary.

Minimum criteria
See attached Behaviours profile


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
• Generous annual leave entitlement
• Corporate membership to Benenden Healthcare
• Eden Red employee benefits scheme, including cycle to work scheme
• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

See our vetting charter.
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 and Strengths.
Application Process
Applications are via a Supporting Statement which should be no longer than 1000 words to be sent to recruitment@supremecourt.uk

Please ensure your supporting statement covers why you wish to apply for this post and the relevance of your experience/education addressing the Success Profile behaviours. Please note that if either the CV or Statement are not provided as part of your application, the panel will only consider the information submitted.

If you need to speak to a member of the recruitment team regarding the process, please call 020 7960 1880.
The closing date for applications is midnight on 3rd July 2022.

If there are a large number of applicants the panel will sift on the lead behaviours which will be Seeing the Bigger Picture and Communicating and Influencing

Candidates will be assessed at interview and asked to give a short presentation.
Interviews are likely to take place week commencing 18th July 2022.

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.
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 : recruitment@supremecourt.uk
  • Email : recruitment@supremecourt.uk
  • Telephone : 020 7960 1880

Recruitment team :

  • Email : recruitment@supremecourt.uk

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