82178 - HMP Highpoint - Head of Education, Skills and Work

£46,549 - £55,862
12 Months
East of England
HM Prison Highpoint, CB8 9YG
Band 8
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share, Flexible Working, Other
Education and Training

Overview of the Job  

This is a functional management job within an establishment.   

Responsible for delivering high-quality education, skills and work provision, in line with prisoner need and aligned with regional, national and Ofsted standards and frameworks, to support prisoners into employment upon release.       

This is either an operational or non-operational job with line management responsibilities. If operational, please see technical requirements.   

Summary of the role

The job holder will be responsible for setting and leading the strategic direction for all of education, skills and work within the prison. This will involve developing a coherent approach to all areas of “Education, Skills and Work”, ensuring that sequencing of activities is purposeful and directed towards maximising prisoners’ opportunities to access employment, education and training on release.   

The job holder must ensure that all Education, Skills and Work activities are structured around the 5 pillars of the Ofsted Education Inspection Framework, supporting other function heads within the prison to maximise this approach in areas of prisoner residence and social interaction.    

They will work with education providers, prison industries and local private enterprise to make the most appropriate use of workshops and all other prisoner places of work, providing prisoners with the learning and skills required to compete for and achieve employment within the local labour market.    

As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the job holder will contribute and implement their Function’s objectives as defined in the establishment’s Business Plan. 

This role is non-rotational.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

  • Responsible for setting and leading the strategic direction for all of education, skills and work within the establishment.   
  • Responsible for creating effective approaches to learning and teaching in line with HMPPS’ education vision and values, as well as regional and national directives and developing a coherent, evidence-based, strategy for all education, skills and work so that the learning, skills and qualifications gained in prison work to maximise opportunities for employment on release.
  • Responsible for delivery of the following related functions/pathways in a prison in line with national frameworks and guidance, and in a way which meets user needs. This will include, but not be limited to, Education, Neurodiversity, Employment on release, Work in Prison/Industries, Farming & Gardens.   
  • Work in strategic partnership with the Head of Reducing Reoffending and other Head of Functions across each of their respective responsibilities to maximise education, skills and work opportunities, to reduce reoffending and support with effective prisoner resettlement.   
  • Work with the Governing Governor to maximise Release on Temporary License (ROTL): and develop strategy to support higher volumes of prison leavers into employment on release.  
  • Responsible for managing the quality of education, skills and work (ESW) provision using Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework criteria, including providing guidance and expertise to the prison’s senior leadership team to ensure the requirements of Ofsted’s inspection framework are prioritised.   
  • Responsible for leading on inspections, including preparation, and driving forward the delivery of actions arising from them. This includes Standard Audit, Her Majesty Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP), OFSTED/Estyn, Action Plans and Managing Quality of Prison Life (MQPL) surveys.  
  • Responsible for ensuring that a culture of employment is maintained within the prison, and responsible for prisoner outcomes in relation to employment post release.   
  • Responsibility for guiding the Prison Employment Lead (PEL) to embed this culture, utilising the Employment Hub (EH) and maximising the prison’s relationships with New Futures Network, Probation service, Community Rehabilitation Service providers and other education/employment stakeholders and networks who support prison leavers.  
  • Responsible for ensuring the delivery of Prison Industries, Retail, Catering & PE Services (IRCPE), New Futures Network and local private enterprise work within prison workshops.   
  • Responsible for the line management and development of staff within the function, including creating a culture of high expectations and taking appropriate action when performance is unsatisfactory.   
  • Dependant on operational accreditation, will undertake some or all other operational management tasks including, but not exclusively:   
  • Acting as the Governor's representative by chairing adjudications and taking charge of day-to-day establishment operations as Duty Governor.  
  • Promoting the Prison Service policy in all activities and behaviours e.g., promote diversity, decency, safety, diversity and inclusion and reducing re-offending agendas.     
  • The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive.  
  • The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.   
  • An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh.   

Success Profile / Criteria


  • Leadership  
  • Working Together  
  • Changing and Improving  
  • Making Effective Decisions  


  • Experience of operating at a middle or senior level in a Primary, Secondary, or Post-16/Adult education setting; including community and voluntary sectors. 
  • Detailed knowledge of OFSTED/Estyn’s EIF (Education Inspection Framework) and further education and skills criteria.  
  • Experience of working collaboratively with a range of stakeholders including senior leaders, external organisations, staff and students. 
  • Significant experience of developing and delivering effective and engaging curricula for a wide range of learners. 
  • Experience of using data to set clear education outcomes and monitor progress towards these. 
  • Experience of implementing change within an educational context.  
  • Knowledge and understanding of how Ofsted/Estyn’s Education Inspection Framework apply to a prison setting. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of OFSTED/Estyn’s further education and skills criteria for prisoners with Additional Learning Needs and how these apply in the prison context. 
  • Experience of implementing strategies to support learners secure meaningful ‘next steps’ (e.g. further training, employment). 

Technical Requirements

  • PGCE, Cert Ed or Level 5 in Education and Training.

If Operational  

  • Must be successfully accredited by passing the Head of Function Assessment Centre (HFAC), or prior to 2016 be accredited as an Operational Manager (or in post as a G5 prior to 1999).  
  • Where HFAC accreditation was gained from 2018, the Incident Management Silver Command (IMSC) assessment must also be passed to be eligible for operational Head of Function roles.  
  • Successful completion of the workbook.  
  • When transferring to a Young Persons establishment the job holder will be required to successfully undertake an assessment to demonstrate suitability to work with Young People.  


  • Demonstrable evidence of innovation and impact in an educational context.  
  • Strong written and excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  

Hours of Work (Unsocial Hours) Allowances

37 hour working week.

Required Hours Allowance (operational post holders only) 

This role requires working regular unsocial hours and a payment at the current
approved organisation rate will be made in addition to your basic pay to recognise
this. Unsocial hours are those hours outside 0700 - 1900hrs Monday to Friday and
include working evenings, nights, weekends and Bank/Public Holidays.

    The job holder must be able to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence in English or (when specified in Wales) Welsh.

    For operational staff - If this is undertaken by an Operational Governor Grade staff member 

    This role requires regularly working unpredictable and unsocial hours and be on call to attend their place of work at anytime. A  20% payment will be paid in addition to your basic pay to recognise this. Unsocial hours are those hours outside 0700 - 1900hrs Monday to Friday and include working evening, nights, weekends and Bank / Public holidays.


    PGCE, Cert Ed or Level 5 in Education and Training
    Candidates must confirm they have a relevant qualification at the time of application and will be required to produce evidence of the qualification at interview.

    Working Arrangements & Further Information

    The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

    For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

    Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on 'modernised' terms in their current post or onto 'unmodernised' MoJ terms if they are on 'unmodernised' terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

    Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

    If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

    The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate's Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.


    Annual Leave

    -The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

    Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

    -You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment


    -The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

    Work Life Balance

    HM Prison & Probation Service  (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

    Season Ticket Advance

    -After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

    Childcare Vouchers

    For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers


    HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

    -There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provides a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

    -All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles


    -All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

    -All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

    -All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which the HMPPS considers to be racist

    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. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

    The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

    You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

    We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

    Interview dates to be confirmed

    15/01/2024, 23:55 hours.

    If you require any assistance please call 0345 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com.

    Please quote the job reference - 82178.

    Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

    if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

    We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.

    Application form stage assessments

    Statement of Suitability - 500 word limit

    Interview stage assessments

    There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
    Working Together
    Changing and Improving
    Making Effective Decisions
    Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.
    Additional Assessment(s)

    A Great Place to Work for Veterans

    The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
    For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

    Redeployment Interview Scheme

    Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

    MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

    This job is broadly open to the following groups:

    · UK nationals

    · nationals of the Republic of Ireland

    · nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

    · nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

    · nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

    · individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

    · Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

    Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

    This Vacancy is closed to applications.