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Role details

Chair of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme Pension Board

Application deadline 31 October 2023


Teacher's Pension Scheme Board
Sponsor department
Department for Education
Audit and Risk, Business
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
£400 per day
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 31 October 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    29 September 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 31 October 2023

  3. Sifting date

    17 November 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    30 November 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 required the Secretary of State, as scheme manager of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, to establish a Pension Board.  The Teachers’ Pension Scheme Pension Board (TPSPB) was established in 2015 and is independently chaired.  It is responsible for providing assurance on the effectiveness of the arrangements for administering the scheme to the Secretary of State for Education.  

The Department is seeking to recruit a new Chair for the TPSPB as the current post-holder’s term is coming to an end. 

Role description

See separate document

Organisation description

See separate document

Board composition

The composition of the Board is currently:

  • An independent  Chair
  • Five member representatives
  • Five employer representatives
  • An independent pension specialist, and
  • One DfE official (contract management)

There is the ability to review this arrangement and to flex the constitution to reflect changing circumstances. 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Leadership – Experience of combining strategic vision with the ability to deliver operational change and/or programme outcomes by taking a proactive approach to engage others and ensure appropriate decisions are made.  Able to balance the need to achieve ‘quick wins’ with longer term gains. Communicating and Influencing – The ability to act as a figurehead and raise the profile of a national Board with influence over high profile public services by demonstrating a proven track record in engaging with senior stakeholders, gaining their commitment and setting direction.Working Together -  Experience of forming strategic partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders by acting as an ‘enabler’ to bring people together to provide constructive challenge and gain agreement. Experience of chairing, or having an influential position on, a Board, particularly in relation to complex governance management would be advantageous.

Desirable criteria

    Commercial knowledge of procurement processes within the public sector
      Some experience of pension schemes, in either the private or public sector

      Application and selection process

      How to apply

      If you are interested in this position, please complete the attached application form. You will also be asked to declare conflicts of interest.

      Overview of the application process

      Interviews are not expected to form part of the process unless a number of exceptional applications are received, in which case interviews will take place during November 2023.

      Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

      John Brown - Head of Policy Projects - Departmental Official
      Melanie Phillip - Policy Team Leader - Departmental Official
      Helen Cowan - Secretariat Manager - Departmental Official
      The Board Recruitment Panel consists of three Departmental officials who will undertake sifting, carry out the interviews if necessary and decide objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

      Eligibility criteria

      In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

      There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

      The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

      You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

      • you are disqualified from acting as a company director (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

      • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

      • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

      When you apply, you should declare if:

      • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

      • you are subject to a current police investigation.

      You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

      When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)

      Additional information for candidates

      Equality and diversity

      We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.

      Disability confident

      We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
      As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
      When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

      Reasonable adjustments

      We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
      Some examples of common changes are:
      • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
      • making adaptations to interview locations;
      • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
      • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
      • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
      • making provision for support animals to attend.
      When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

      Principles of public life

      Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life These are:

      1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
      2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
      3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
      4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
      5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
      6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
      7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

      Code of conduct for board members

      The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

      Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

      Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
      • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
      • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or public statements that you have made; 
      • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
      which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
      You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
      Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

      Status of appointment

      As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

      Appointment and tenure of office

      Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

      Remuneration, allowances and abatement

      Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 
      You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.  

      Pension and redundancy

      This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

      Application feedback

      We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

      How to complain

      We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
      Please contact the Pensions Board Secretariat public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

      Data protection

      The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy
      Please see our privacy notice for details of how we will process your data.

      Contact details

      Any additional information, questions or queries please contact -