Head of Data and Technical Standards

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About JCQ


JCQ is the representative body for the leading qualifications and assessment boards in the United Kingdom. The eight members of JCQ are the largest national awarding bodies offering general and vocational qualifications in the UK. They are responsible for setting and awarding secondary education level qualifications, such as GCSE’s, Standard Grades, A-levels, Highers and vocational qualifications including the newly developed T-Levels. The UK examinations board sector is amongst the most diverse in the world and a vital part of the education landscape. JCQ is a not for profit Community Interest Company, limited by guarantee and is funded by its members.


JCQ's mission is to reduce bureaucracy for schools and colleges by facilitating and delivering common administrative arrangements for examinations. We work with members to ensure there is a common framework including the conducting of exams, management of malpractice and cheating which rarely occurs. JCQ helps members work collectively with the regulator and government departments.


JCQ‘s core aims are:


• Reduce bureaucracy for schools and colleges by facilitating and delivering common administrative arrangements for examinations.

• Provide a forum for strategic debate, information exchange and expression of common interest amongst awarding bodies.

• Enable member awarding bodies to jointly express views and collectively respond to national issues.

• Provide a channel for collective discussion with key stakeholders including schools and colleges, the HE sector, teachers, lecturers, examination officers, heads of centres and their representative organisations.


JCQ undertakes a wide range of activities including the publishing of national GCSE and A level results in August; handling enquiries from examination officers; and publishing advice, guidance and regulations on delivering examinations.


The main objective for JCQ is to enable its members to act together by providing common administrative arrangements for examinations and communicating with a single voice to the media, regulators, Government departments and other stakeholders.


Job Purpose


The Head of Data & Technical Standards (D&TS) is responsible for servicing JCQ’s Standards and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) and ensuring that its objectives are appropriately supported and the annual and long-term objectives are delivered. They also lead the JCQ’s data management function, most particularly ensuring the production and publication of GCE and GCSE exam results in the Summer. Working with the Director General and the rest of the team, they will assist with the wider delivery of JCQ’s short medium and long-term objectives.


Principal Objectives/Responsibilities


  • Support STAG and its Chair, as Servicing Officer, preparing agendas and drafting papers, identifying strategic themes and topics for discussion and development, taking minutes of technical meetings and securing common positions across members.

  • Manage JCQ examinations data, including GCSE and A level results and provide them in formats suitable for communication that are appropriate for use by JCQ stakeholders.

  • Represent the interests of JCQ at meetings with key stakeholders, including with the regulators and government departments on data and technical standards.

  • Be the main contact between the regulators and awarding organisations on cross-awarding organisation data and technical information requests.

  • Provide, with the support of STAG, specialist technical advice and respond to queries from stakeholders on the examinations system (including awarding), qualifications, and data.

  • Maintain a working relationship with colleagues and other JCQ committees to ensure technical and data related issues are raised and discussed in the appropriate forum.

  • Support the strategic and operational aims of the JCQ in relation to data and technical standards.

  • As an experienced member of staff contribute to the development of JCQ more widely, carrying out any other tasks to support the running of JCQ as required from time to time.


Experience and Skill Set


The Head of D&TS will have a relevant qualification or substantial experience in managing and analysing data, preferably in an education environment. Experience of an exam awarding environment is desirable, although not essential.


Key attributes:

  • Ability to work independently and handle multiple projects

  • Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines

  • Excellent communication skills, both numerical and written

  • Proficient IT skills, especially in relation to large dataset management

  • A self-motivated individual with a professional and proactive attitude

  • A good team worker, willing to contribute to and influence JCQ’s broader activities

  • Able to be flexible and work outside office hours when necessary, especially during the Summer results announcements each August (eligible for TOIL in-line with JCQ policy)


Leave and Pension


Annual Leave: 25 days rising by 1 day per full year of service to a maximum of 30 days, plus 8 Bank Holidays and the 3 days between Christmas and New Year, the latter at the discretion of JCQ.


´╗┐Pension: JCQ will provide 10% pension contribution when employees contribute 5% through Salary Sacrifice.


How to apply


To apply for this exciting opportunity, please email your CV and a supporting letter outlining how your experience and skills match the requirements outlined in the role description above to recruitment@jcq.org.uk


If you wish to have a confidential discussion about this role please email recruitment@jcq.org.uk or call +44 (0)20 7638 4134.


The closing date for applications is 12:00 on Monday 2nd September 2019.

Interviews will be held during September 2019.

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