Role details

Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA)

Application deadline 16 September 2022

Summary

Organisation
Chief Schools Adjudicator and Adjudicators - Office of the Schools Adjudicator
Sponsor department
Department for Education
Location
Various
Sector
Education
Skills
Legal, Judicial, Regulation
Number of vacancies
3
Time commitment
60 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£58 to £355
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 16 September 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    20 July 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 16 September 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • The role of a Schools Adjudicator is a challenging and rewarding one.  Their decisions are legally binding. They can be challenged only by judicial review and are expected to be legally and evidentially robust and coherently set out. The decisions adjudicators are called on to make matter to people and can attract local and national media interest. A Schools Adjudicator needs credibility and to command confidence across the whole education community, derived from experience and knowledge, independence, integrity and impartiality.

  • Successful applicants will have a range of experience of the publicly funded school system in England at a senior level. Experience must include work with or in individual schools as well as leadership and work beyond single schools. They will command confidence, respect and trust from those they come into contact with professionally. They will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the school system and the laws which govern this.   

  • Successful applicants for all roles will demonstrate the following essential criteria:

    • Analytical and decision-making ability: Adjudicators are required to make decisions taking account of competing arguments and within an often complex legal framework. They must be able to keep an objective perspective and be recognised for their impartial approach and judgement.
    • Written communication skills: Successful applicants will show first-hand experience of producing papers which set out difficult/technical issues, competing arguments and the rationale for a final decision/recommendation in clear terms which can be understood by a wide range of interested parties. The ability to write clear, well-argued and robust determinations is of prime importance; the adjudicator has sole responsibility for the production of his or her determinations and must be able to communicate and present their decisions and reasoning compellingly to parents and schools and others in their written determinations which are legally binding documents.
    • Communication skills: As part of their work, adjudicators have to chair both small meetings of parties to cases and large public meetings. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate experience and ability in building rapport with different audiences and establishing credibility with professionals and the general public alike. They will be able to demonstrate that they can understand and show understanding of concerns while remaining independent and impartial.  Adjudicators are expected to always be able to demonstrate strong inclusion skills in carrying out their role.

    • Ability to manage own work and time: Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate the ability to work effectively alone, deliver to tight timescales, and at the same time contribute to and be part of a wider adjudicator team.

Desirable criteria

We are also recruiting for an adjudicator who will act as statistical lead. In addition to the essential criteria outlined above, this adjudicator must demonstrate an understanding of education statisticsand be able to support other adjudicators in the interpretation and explanation of those statistics. Candidates for this role would normally hold a degree in mathematics, statistics or other discipline requiring a high level of numeracy. Alternatively, they may be able to evidence the necessary skills through the research or professional duties they have undertaken.

  • Because of the particular skill sets and experience of those who are retiring, we are especially keen to receive applications from individuals who can demonstrate the skills and experience set out above and who have one or more of the following:
    • Knowledge and experience of school place planning and school capital funding, gained by working in a local authority, faith body or large multi-academy trust;
    • Experience as a headteacher/Ofsted inspector/member of HMI
    • For one post, proficiency in the use of education statistics as set out above

Applications are also particularly welcome from members of black and minority ethnic groups and disabled people.

Role description

Introduction

Schools Adjudicators make legally binding decisions on a range of school matters. Most frequently they deal with objections to and referrals of school admission arrangements. Adjudicators also make decisions and give advice in relation to securing places for children who need them; resolve disputes about school land and make decisions in certain circumstances about school organisation matters.

Successful applicants will have a proven track record at a senior level within the publicly funded school sector in England, be impartial and independent with keenly developed analytical, presentational and communication skills. In particular, they will demonstrate the ability to take full responsibility for producing clear and robust written determinations for each case they take.  Adjudicators must be able to understand and apply the relevant primary and secondary legislation which relates to their statutory functions.

Schools Adjudicators are appointed by the Secretary of State for Education but as statutory office holders they act independently of the Department.

For further information please see the advert and recruitment pack.

Role description

The posts are part-time. A minimum level of availability is required, the majority of which would be between mid-May and the end of September. Adjudicators work mainly from home. They may hold virtual meetings with schools and others and may also make visits as necessary to schools. They are expected to take part in regular meetings with their fellow adjudicators most of which also are held virtually but some may be held in person in Darlington or London.  Remuneration is at a daily rate of £355 for work conducted away from home and an hourly rate of £58 for work at home. Travel and subsistence expenses will be met. The appointment will be for a period of three years with the first year served as a probationary year.

Schools Adjudicators must be available for a minimum of 60 days service as a Schools Adjudicator between 1 April and 31 March each year, of which at least 40 days must be between 15 May and 30 September with Schools Adjudicators available for the whole of the second half of the summer term.

Application and selection process

How to apply

To apply, please complete and return the Personal Details form together with the completed task, your current CV and a covering application letter no longer than two sides of A4 paper demonstrating how you meet each of the four (or five for the statistical lead role) criteria outlined in the person specification together with an account of your relevant experience and knowledge of the school system.  Applicants will be considered first against performance in the task (or tasks for those wishing to be considered as the statistical lead adjudicator). Those applications which reach the minimum required standard will then be considered against the person specification.
Please return completed documents by 5pm on 16 September 2022 by email to: OSA.TEAM@schoolsadjudicator.gov.uk

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Panel Chair: Kim Sibley- Department Official 
Deputy Director, Admissions, School Organisation and Transport 
Shan Scott- Representative of Organisation
Chief Schools Adjudicator for the Office of the Schools Adjudicator
Third panellist TBA

Additional information for candidates

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

Please direct any additional questions to Matt Brown at: matthew10.brown@education.gov.uk