Deputy Head of News

Birmingham, London , Leeds
National Min - £60,135 & London Min - £65,439
29 Nov 2021
05 Dec 2021
Contract Type

  About the job Summary

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Do you have exceptional judgment, acute political awareness, great communication skills and the leadership ability to get the best out of a team of talented press officers?

If so, then this is the perfect opportunity for you as we seek a Deputy Head of News for a period of 12 months.

This is a chance to play a major role in one of the Government's busiest departments, responsible for delivering some of its biggest projects.

Job description

This position requires someone with the relationship-building ability to win the confidence of the Secretary of State, his Special Advisers, a demanding Junior Ministerial team and the department’s most senior officials.

In return, we promise you all the proactive announcements, ministerial access and crisis management experience you’d expect from a job at this level.

DfT runs a seamless communications operation across all disciplines, which means we can also offer the opportunity to work with external affairs, marketing and digital experts – giving you the opportunities you need to broaden your experience and advance your career.

If you have the flair to turn our policies into compelling stories, the sense to deal with fast-breaking news and the ability to win the confidence of ministers, then this could be the job for you.


Key accountabilities of the role include:

• Support the Head of News in managing the press office to deliver a high-quality media service to all ministers, the department and its executive agencies.
• Provide leadership, guidance, management, development and support to the media team.
• Act as the Secretary of State's first point of contact on media issues in deputising for the Head of News.
• Ensure other ministers are supported by you and your team.
• Work closely with key stakeholder organisations, our arms-length-bodies and executive agencies.
• Support your team to drive innovative and creative communications.
• Oversee press office systems including human resources and budgets.
• Play an active role in the cross-communications senior leadership team
• Line management duties for four direct reports

For an in-depth insight into the role please refer to the Role Profile.

About you

• The confidence and experience to provide exceptional leadership for a large team.
• The creativity and drive to come up with great ideas – and deliver them.
• The communications understanding and news sense to spot problems before they arise and identify opportunities before anyone else.
• The clout and the ability to give clear and concise advice to senior ministers and colleagues.
• The calmness and clarity to lead a team through demanding workloads and times of crisis.
• The skills to build strong relationships with industry and arms-length bodies and use them on behalf of the department.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to apply

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

For your CV and personal statement, please provide detailed evidence of your experience of the following:

• Leading a team and developing people
• Handling high-profile issues and influencing senior internal and external stakeholders
• Showing a sharp news sense and deploying first-rate writing skills
• Using your ability to network and build positive relationships both inside and outside your organisation

The sift is due to take place from w/c 06/12/2021

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held from 17th December 2021

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:
• an interview with one or more exercises

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email for assistance.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   George Kotschy Email :   Recruitment team : Email : Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website at

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