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Head of User Support

Premium Job From Department for Education
Recruiter: Department for Education
Listed on: 1st October
Location: Coventry, Manchester, Nottingham, Darlington
Salary/Rate: £61,014 - £68,717
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

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We are striving for world-class education, training, care for everyone whatever your background. For a more productive economy and so everyone has the chance to reach their potential and live a more fulfilled life.

The purpose of the Digital & Technology directorate is to help the department deliver its objectives by being a trusted partner, providing support and expertise to deploy and develop:

   •   IT desktop services and applications
   •   IT infrastructure and infrastructure services
   •   Application and system development

The directorate is part of a wider Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) community across government, sharing a clear vision of making public services digital by default, simpler, clearer and faster to use.

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 through agile and iterative software development and continuous improvement.
Job Description
This role sits within the End User Compute Services function within Digital & Technology Directorate. End User Compute Services are responsible for delivering, managing and operating the corporate IT services to the department and providing support to our c9,700 users.

The Head of User Support is a critical leadership role, the success of which ensures that users are able to effectively interact with DfE services through corporate IT. In this role you will assure excellent user outcomes, working with departmental colleagues, wider government and our third-party supply chain. Our aim is to provide modern, reliable and flexible services that allow simple, secure access to departmental services, deploying and managing modern desktop devices, using industry best practice.

We enable our users to deliver Departmental priorities offering a wide range of services including:

  • Laptops, tablets, and desktop hardware for c.9,700 staff.
  • Smartphones, soft phones, and desk telephony.
  • Desktop and Bring Your Own Device solutions.
  • Printers and scanners, including bulk print services.
  • Audio and Video conferencing and live events.
  • Productivity and collaboration applications.

You will be responsible for the delivery of responsive and effective technical support services to DfE Users. The primary measure of success in this role is a high level of customer satisfaction, and you will manage the people, processes and tools required to achieve this.

The focus of this role is ensuring a seamless user journey, regardless of the point of contact. The role will need to shape how the support can and should evolve to support a hybrid working arrangement including optimising and improving existing services and exploring how automation, self service and digital channels can streamline end enhance user interaction and provide a more efficient support offer.

This position will lead the identification and implementation of developments in our customer service capabilities and operating model. This will include setting the user support vision, strategy and roadmap, determining the appropriate structure and resource profile, defining and implementing process refinements and improvements.

You will be responsible for the live operations, whilst continually delivering improvements to meet business need and responding to changing technology. You will play a pivotal role in transforming how we work, optimising and improving services and assessing and monitoring taking a data and evidence led approach to drive change.

At this level, you will lead a team, representing User Support at a senior level and acting as the primary escalation point for all users.

Key responsibilities

  • Shape and drive the User Support strategy, encouraging a shift away from a hands-on support approach to increased self-service and autonomy, assisting users to better adopt and engage with services, reducing the overall overhead, freeing up resources to drive value, creating consistent high quality customer interactions.
  • Oversee and manage User Support, ensuring they are relevant, operational and meeting the needs of users.
  • Shape and drive the User Support service developing a clear and measurable roadmap.
  • Lead the teams to embed a service culture driving continual service improvement underpinned by data and feedback to inform improvement plans and change.
  • Work collaboratively with Service Teams and Service Operations to understand the user journey, to improve the overall user experience
  • Reshaping the KPIs and measures assessing performance and user satisfaction and create a clear robust assessment framework to drive performance improvement.
  • You can take accountability of issues that occur and be proactive in searching for potential problems. You know how to achieve excellent user outcomes.

Person Specification

Essential Skills

  • Experience of leading and managing large scale customer facing IT service desks and support teams.
  • Translates ‘lessons learnt' from user feedback into continual service improvement. Takes responsibility for the full range of customer service functions including reviewing customer service satisfaction.
  • Maximises the use of technology to drive service improvements in the support offer and investigates which processes can be automated and ways to do so.
  • Ensure that the right actions are taken to investigate, resolve and anticipate problems. Co-ordinate the team to investigate problems, implement solutions and take preventive measures.
  • You have a recognised Service Management qualification and an industry understanding of how to implement the framework into numerous environments.

It is desirable that you have:

  • Reviews and assess operating models to identify and implement opportunities to optimise ways of working leading and developing a team of experts. You help to evaluate and establish requirements for the implementation of changes by setting policy and standards.
  • You understand modern technologies and their application with a keenness to stay abreast of industry developments to make cost effective use of new and emerging tools and technologies.

    Desirable criteria will only be assessed in the event of a tie break situation to make an informed decision.


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

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing


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.

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.

We offer flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, term-time working, flexi-time and compressed hours.

As an organisation, which exists to support education and lifelong learning, we offer our staff excellent professional development opportunities.
Things you need to know
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.