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New Deputy Director role in the Standards and Testing Agency

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We’re recruiting for a Deputy Director – Test Operations in the Standards and Testing Agency (STA). I’ve been doing the role since early 2017, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s become vacant because I am taking on the role of Chief Executive of the Agency.

This post is for people who want to know a bit more about the organisation and the role – we’re also really happy to chat to anyone who has questions or would like to know more (our contact details are at the end of the post).

What we do

The STA develops and delivers national curriculum assessments (often called ‘SATs’) for pupils in over 16,000 primary schools in England.  We also produce data for the school performance tables. The tables help schools measure themselves and provide information for parents, Ofsted and others.

I’ve seen as a school governor how valuable the information STA provides is in helping schools to improve so that every pupil leaves primary school with the skills they need.

Our priorities

Our priorities over the next year include:

  • delivering the 2019 tests for schools and pupils as well as trialling tests for 2020 and 2021
  • working with a new supplier that will operate the tests on our behalf from 2020
  • developing the reception baseline assessment that starts in autumn 2020
  • running a national pilot in summer 2019 of the multiplication tables check

What the role involves

The person in this role will be responsible for making sure that:

  • the annual tests for around 1.8 million pupils are printed and distributed to schools
  • the key stage 2 tests for 11 year-olds are marked accurately by our supplier
  • pupil and school level data are returned

All of this has to be done to exact dates while making sure that all schools have a near-perfect experience.

The job also includes responsibility for moderation of teacher assessment, for example of English writing where there isn’t a test.

We’re also starting to develop digitally enabled assessments, with the multiplication tables check being the first.

So there is plenty to get stuck into, and plenty of opportunity to make a difference.

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for someone who likes working with commercial suppliers and has some experience of doing that in an operational or project delivery role.

You need to be able to lead people well, both within and outside the STA, so being a skilled team leader who inspires trust is a must.

An eye for detail, a passion for continuous improvement and some knowledge of systems management would be helpful too.

What it’s like working in the STA

People in the STA are experts in what they do whether it’s developing tests, project managing the test cycle or managing suppliers. It’s a real pleasure working with this level of expertise and with a friendly and inclusive bunch of people too.

We’re also part of the Department for Education group of organisations, so in this role you would be part of a 6,000 strong community of people who are passionate about education, learning and social care.

For more information, read the candidate pack.

If you’d like to speak to someone about the role, please email Una Bennett or Kate Moore.

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