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Lead Technical Architect

Premium Job From Department for Education
Recruiter: Department for Education
Listed on: 26th July
Location: Coventry, Manchester, Sheffield
Salary/Rate: £61,014 - £68,717
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

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These are exciting times at the Department for Education. We are transforming to become a user-centred organisation, delivering better outcomes for all our users.

As a Lead Technical Architect, you will be designing and building services for a diverse set of users, including citizens, teachers, social workers, and school professionals.

You will be working in one of two digital delivery portfolios - either Schools Business Professionals (including Get help buying for your school, Start and manage an academy, Build or repair a school) or Vulnerable Families and Children (including Free school meals, Tax-free childcare, Assessment and Accreditation of Social Workers, Family Hubs).
Job description
Your main responsibilities will include:

  • Defining, maintaining, and championing the technical strategy for a portfolio - keeping up to date with the latest technologies and trends, whilst delivering working software early and often.
  • Leading technical specialists in multiple projects and services, on problems that require broad architectural thinking.
  • Defining how we build and operate user-centred, open source web systems in an agile environment, to serve a variety of citizen and government needs.
  • Being responsible for the technical design and development of services of various sizes, including how they interact with their surroundings, and how they evolve over time.
  • Challenging entrenched practices and influencing decision-makers, looking for deeper underlying problems to solve, and larger opportunities for digital transformation.
  • Communicating the vision for government services to developers and non-developers alike, working in multi-disciplinary teams that bring policy and delivery together
  • Playing an active role in the DfE Technical Architecture community, where you will share knowledge of tools and techniques, as well as joining related community events where appropriate, such as product, research, design, platforms, security etc.
  • Helping to build and maintain a diverse, inclusive culture across the technical architecture community, growing awareness, inclusivity, and balance.
  • Working with the Head of Profession, colleagues, and peers on profession-based activities (and cross-profession), such as defining standards and guidance around best practice.


Selection Criteria

It is essential that you can demonstrate the following experience in your application and at the first stage interview:

  • Experience leading technical teams and delivering user-centred services in an agile environment.
  • Experience of introducing practices such as Test-Driven Development (TDD), continuous integration, automated deployment pipelines, version control with Git and DevOps to teams.
  • Experience working with cloud-first architectures and how to build applications that take advantage of the opportunities they offer.
  • Experience of software development in either Ruby, .Net (or similar).
  • Knowledge of open source principles and technologies.

The following essential criteria will also need to be demonstrated at the second interview stage:

  • An ability to build consensus between diverse and often conflicting interests, working with technical and non-technical stakeholders to achieve agreement on technical plans.
  • The ability to look beyond immediate technical problems and identify the wider implications
  • Practical knowledge at many levels of the web stack, from front-end code, down to infrastructure and networking.

It is desirable that you demonstrate the following:

  • Experience using automated tests to continuously validate your work.
  • Experience of applying the UK Government Service Standard and of service assessment.
  • Experience of mentoring and supporting colleagues in multi-disciplinary teams, one-to-one or in groups.
  • Ability to work with stakeholders to produce effective strategies for technology choices, using the most appropriate languages, frameworks and tools to meet user and business needs.

Please note that desirable criteria will only be considered to make an informed decision in the event of a tie.



New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.
Applicants currently holding a permanent post in the Civil Service should note that, if successful, their salary on appointment would be determined by the Department's transfer / promotion policies.


As a member of the DfE, you will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

For further information on these schemes, please refer to the Civil Service Pensions Scheme.

Annual Leave:

You will have 25 days leave, increasing by 1 day every year to a maximum of 30 days after five years' service. In addition, all staff receive the Queen's Birthday privilege holiday and 8 days' bank and public holidays.

Other Benefits:

   •   As an organisation, which exists to support education and lifelong learning, we offer our staff excellent professional development opportunities.
   •   We offer flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, term-time working, flexi-time, and compressed hours.
   •   We provide great maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave.
   •   We offer up to 5 days paid leave per year for voluntary work you may wish to undertake.
   •   We also offer: Bike loans (subject to availability and location); Season ticket loans; eye-care vouchers; access to employee discount scheme; access to Employee Assistance Programme.
   •   A wide variety of staff support networks including a Family Network, BAME Network, Wellbeing Network, Women's Network and many more.
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel secuurity standard checks.