Modelling and Policy Analyst (Longitudinal Educational Outcomes)

Department for Education

Canary Wharf, London

35,497 - £44,819


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Coventry, West Midlands : Manchester, North West : Nottingham, East Midlands : Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber

About the job

Job description

The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for a variety of policy areas, including: teachers and schools, the safeguarding of children and children’s social care, early years education, colleges and universities.

We are recruiting for an analyst to lead high-profile analytical projects, using the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset.

LEO is a matched administrative dataset linking education and labour market outcomes. As a source of data on later educational outcomes, the LEO data is unrivalled in the UK and is, in many respects, world-leading. As a relatively new dataset we are only beginning to tap into its potential to inform education policy. Early projects using LEO have generated a high level of interest inside and outside government.

This post offers an exceptional opportunity to build and lead a work programme using LEO. As the Central Analysis Unit’s LEO analytical lead, you will:

  • Utilise cutting edge modelling techniques to get the best from this exciting data source and to deliver statistically robust, policy-relevant analysis of educational performance and earnings in later life - exploring variation by pupil, school and other characteristics;
  • Develop a policy appraisal model, based on ‘lifetime’ earnings impacts, enabling the department to estimate the productivity value of education;
  • Provide rapid, time-bound and robust analytical support on high profile policy and delivery issues; and where possible
  • Get ahead of ministers’ thinking to ensure high quality analytical advice is available, at the point decisions are made.

CAU work in a highly collaborative and open way across our mixed analytical teams. The Unit reports directly to the Director of Analysis, and is tasked to develop high quality analysis and research to support policy across the department, often with ministerial or senior sponsors. CAU will support and encourage you to operate at the cutting edge of data science and longitudinal analysis and research.

We are looking for an analyst with very strong quantitative analysis skills. Specifically, candidates will be asked to demonstrate:

  • Thorough and detailed knowledge of the quantitative research methods, with experience using statistical/econometric modelling techniques;
  • Experience in the manipulation and interrogation of large and complex administrative datasets (preferably longitudinal);
  • Proficiency in R is required and, preferably, other packages including STATA;
  • An ability to work in a collaborative and open way, with people from a wide range of professional backgrounds;
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to work independently and drive work forward from inception to completion; and
  • Good communication skills including the ability to discuss the findings and implications of their analysis with stakeholders, including non-analysts.

The depth of the technical challenge and high profile of this work is suited to those with an inquisitive mind set who are seeking an intellectual challenge. An understanding of the returns to education literature is desirable but not essential - you will benefit from joining the Central Economics Team, which has a track record of developing and publishing evidence in this field.

You can also expect exceptionally strong support to improve your skills in post, through collaboration with CAU’s Central Economics Team, our Data Science Laboratory and the Department’s LEO Data and Policy groups. We have strong links across Whitehall and academia, offering the post holder access to a wide network of technical experts and stakeholders.

This post is open to anyone who has the right skills and experience whether or not a badged analyst. If you are a badged analyst you should also refer to the skills expected of your profession at this level and to the attached summary of the analytical function.

The salary for these posts is different depending on whether you are already a badged analyst and whether you are based in London or one of the regional offices.

If you are not a current member of the analytical professions you will join us on the SEO grade (£35,497 - £39,114). If you are a member of the analytical professions (Government Statistician’s Group - GSG, Government Operational Research Service - GORS, Government Economic Service - GES or Government Social Research Service -GSR) you will join on the relevant senior analyst grade (£40,837 - £44,819).

If you are not badged you are likely to have the opportunity to apply for an internal badging board once in post, and if successful your salary will be increased to the relevant grade.

Person specification

This role is suitable for both badged analysts and un-badged analysts with the relevant skills.

If you are a badged analyst you must say which profession you are a member of in this section (Government Statistician’s Group (GSG), Government Operational Research Service (GORS), Government Economic Service (GES) or Government Social Research Service (GSR)).

If you are not a member of one of these professions you can still apply if you can clearly demonstrate that you have the professional skills required. The skills are more important than the badging. Note that the interview will not be a badging board, but once in post you are likely to have the opportunity to apply for an internal badging board.


We would expect all applicants to have a highly numerate degree or equivalent experience.

If not already a member of a badged analytical profession you would need the following to be considered for future badging:

  • Economists: a degree (minimum 2:1) at least half of which must be economics modules, or a Masters in Economics.

  • Operational Researchers: a numerate degree (minimum 2:1, or a 2:2 with relevant work experience or a postgraduate qualification), at least half of which must be from one or more of these subjects: operational research, mathematics, physics, econometrics, engineering or management sciences, but the list of subjects considered is left open.

  • Social Researchers: a degree (minimum 2:1) in a relevant social science with a substantial social research component, such as demography, economics, human geography, linguistics, psychology, social anthropology, sociology and statistics; or a degree (minimum 2:2) with a relevant postgraduate qualification in social research.

  • Statisticians: a numerate degree (minimum 2:2) in a discipline such as mathematics, economics, psychology or geography (your degree should contain some formal statistical training); or a postgraduate degree e.g. an MSc or PhD in a subject containing formal statistical training or; or evidence of experience and continued professional development to demonstrate knowledge to the same level as a foundation degree/HND (Level 5).


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Analytical technical skills

Closing date: 14 Jun 2019


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