80303 - Head of Communications

The national salary range is £54,358 - £62,000 London salary range is £58,847 - £66,670. Your salary will be dependent on your base location
12 Months
London, National
London, National
Grade 7
YJB G7 London, YJB G7 National
Full Time
Communications / Marketing

Job title Head of Communications

Directorate/Business Unit/Team Communications

Grade Grade 7

Role Type: Communications

Salary band National: £54,358 – £62,000 London: £58,847 – £66,670

New entrants are normally expected to join on the minimum of the pay band

Responsible to Chief Strategy Officer

Base/location YJB is National by Default.

National (North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West, Wales)

These YJB Roles are contractually based at the nearest MoJ Collaboration or Satellite Centre to the region they are allocated, but YJB staff work flexibly, including from their homes.

FTE/hours (Full-Time/Part-time/Flexible Working)  Full-time – 37 hours

Job type (i.e., fixed term/permanent/loan/secondment) Permanent

Duration of appointment – months. (for fixed term, secondment, loan etc) N/A

Security Clearance Required Baseline (BPSS) Checks

Who are we?

The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) is the public body which advises Ministers, including the Secretary of State for Justice on the operation of local youth justice services and the wider youth justice system. Our ambition is to see a Child First youth justice system. A system which looks to children’s’ strengths and supports children to become the best version of themselves. To this effect we engage with a wide variety of organisations, partners and parties with an interest in youth justice; we share good practice, champion improvement and issue grants.

Our Vision

Working to ensure a youth justice system that sees children as children, treats them fairly and helps them to build on their strengths so they can make a constructive contribution to society. This will prevent offending and create safer communities with fewer victims.

Aims of the Youth Justice System

Prevention of offending by children and young people:

  • To reduce the number of children in the youth justice system
  • To reduce reoffending by children in the youth justice system
  • To improve the safety and wellbeing of children in the youth justice system
  • To improve outcomes of children in the youth justice system

Thinking of joining us?

Our recruitment is based on merit, we welcome applications from all who can commit to our vision and values.  We offer considerable flexibility in how you work and expect commitment and flexibility in return. We continue to strive for equity, diversity and inclusion in our culture and our staff group. 

To this end we very much encourage applications from those people with protected characteristics. Our staff are public servants, eligible for the Civil Service pension scheme and we are accredited by the Civil Service Commission.  This means applications from across Civil Service Departments, their agencies and Arms-Length Bodies are treated as internal applicants.  We also welcome applications from those who do not currently work in these bodies or the public sector.

Role Purpose:

As the Head of Communications you will lead the YJB’s communications function, develop and implement our communications strategy, and advise our senior management team and Board on communications. You will work to the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) but will also have direct access to the Chair and Chief Executive to advise on how we communicate the YJB’s priorities, demonstrating how the organisation is making a meaningful impact on the lives of children in, or at risk of entering, the youth justice system.

You will develop, plan and implement communications strategies that deliver measurable change, including internal communications, strategic and digital communications, and oversee the YJB’s media handling, supported by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

You will manage a small team to support colleagues across the YJB to develop their own communications plans and improve their communications competence. You will be expected to develop strong relationships with senior YJB staff and colleagues across government, as well as a range of partners and external stakeholders.

By effectively carrying out your role, you will support the organisation and wider sector to improve outcomes for children in the youth justice system.

Role Context:

How the communications team contributes to YJB strategy:

To be an exemplary public sector organisation and employer

The communications team supports leaders and line managers to achieve this by engaging staff and by contributing to ensuring staff have the information they need to do their jobs well. We do this through our internal communications strategy which includes planning for change and activity including weekly messages, creating five-minute briefings, organising staff stand ups and supporting the staff engagement group to run staff events. We also provide advice to leaders and an insights and feedback function via stand-up content planning.

To effectively deliver our unique statutory oversight function

The communications team supports the YJB to interpret, explain and reach audiences with our statistics and analysis of evidence. We build and maintain platforms to share observations from our unique position, these include social media, GOV.UK, events, webinars and our Youth Justice Bulletin.

To drive system improvement

The communications team supports the YJB by sharing practice insights and emerging practice, amplifying our messages to provide thought leadership, advising on press strategies and lines, advising and creating content which supports cases for change and provides platforms for this work to reach our audiences through our own channels and others.

Main Responsibilities

  • Lead on the planning, coordination and evaluation of external and internal communications strategies and campaigns in line with Government Communication Service (GCS) standards, including the development of the YJB’s overarching communications strategy
  • Manage a small team of communicators providing professional leadership, as well as managing staff on specific projects and programmes, including at least two direct reports
  • Lead on communication advice, and management of risk to reputation

  • Lead the communications teams to build communications capability amongst other YJB staff, so that they are confident to develop and implement communications plans

  • Direct the development and use of a range of communications channels to reach identified audiences and produce a variety of materials and content.

  • Lead the YJB’s corporate messaging, including overseeing reactive media handling and proactive media engagement (supported by Ministry of Justice central press office)

  • Build relationships with senior internal and external stakeholders, to influence and understand how communications can best support the business needs, including managing key relationships with the Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Strategy Team, CEO and CEO’s office, MoJ press office and Group Comms Board and communications colleagues across government and further afield

  • Ensure the effective use of the YJB’s brand identity across all communications channels, and have overall responsibility for the YJB’s delegated communications budget

  • Use expertise to contribute to the performance and strategic development of YJB

  • At all times, demonstrate support and respect for the YJBs commitment to equity, inclusivity and the diversity of the YJB and its partners.

  • Be responsible for making sure you understand and adhere to your responsibilities in relation to health and safety and data protection.

  • Work positively and collaboratively with colleagues in both England and YJB Cymru and will consider the impact of developments on policy, practice, and legislation specific to Wales.

  • Work flexibly. All posts within the YJB operate flexibly to make sure the requirements of the business are met and as such you may be required to undertake other duties in your role or duties in other parts of the business at your grade to meet business priorities
  • Work with significant autonomy and use expertise to contribute to wider organisational development.
  • Provide positive leadership by encouraging positive emotions and positive social exchanges in the workplace. Set high expectations and live up to them. Deliver on the commitments you make. Value the contribution of others and nurture positive relationships as well as skills and professional development.

Selection process details

This vacancy uses Success Profiles, and will assess your Technical Skills, Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.  The assessment process will be made up of two parts:

  1. An Application (see below)
  2. Interview (see below) including a short, written assessment


Please provide:

  • CV
  • Written examples demonstrating in no more than 250 words for each of the following essential civil service behaviours: Communicating & Influencing (250 words) and Seeing the Big Picture (250 words)
  • A statement (no more than 500 words) of how you meet the ‘essential criteria: Technical, Experience and Ability’ as outlined in the job description

Should a large number of applications be received, the initial sift may be conducted based on the statement and lead behaviour: Communicating and Influencing


For candidates who get to the interview stage it will be a blended interview covering: further elaboration on your application and the Civil Service behaviours, and strengths as described in the Success Profiles - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (this is a very particular style of interview please make sure you make yourself aware of these in advance).
You will also be asked to carry out a short, written assessment which will last approximately 30 minutes.

Reserve List
Those candidates who successfully demonstrate at interview, the behaviours, strengths, and essential criteria required by YJB for the role, but who are not selected as the successful candidate, may be added to a reserve list for 12 months. Candidates on a reserve list may be contacted and offered a role which is sufficiently similar, without further need for application, within the timeframe.

Essential Criteria

Skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Significant experience in a communications role, or equivalent
  • Demonstrable experience of planning, implementing and evaluating communications activity
  • Experience leading a team, developing others and giving a clear sense of direction and purpose
  • Experience delivering innovative communication campaigns
  • Experience providing robust communications advice to colleagues, including senior leaders


  • The aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard.eg verbal or numerical reasoning
  • Ability to evaluate communications using relevant tools and guidance


  • Communicating and influencing (Lead behaviour)
  • Leadership
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Making effective decisions
  • Changing and improving
  • Developing Self and Others

Benefits of working for the Youth Justice Board

  • Opportunity to work in an organisation that seeks to make a positive difference to the lives of children at risk of entering and within the youth justice system
  • Family friendly policies including flexible working opportunities. Many of our staff combine working from our offices in either London or Wales, or working from one of the Ministry of Justice Collaboration Centres/Satellite Offices throughout the country, with working from home; compressed hours, part-time working
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme, and/or continuous service transfer of Civil Service Pension Scheme as applicable
  • Annual leave of 25 days per annum plus public holidays (or for those transferring directly on a lateral move from Civil Service Departments, their Agencies, Arms-Length Bodies (ALBs) and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPB) we may, subject to confirmation, match current annual leave entitlement, up to 30 days
  • As an accredited NDPB we may, subject to confirmation, accept your continuous service from other Civil Service departments their agencies and ALBs/NDBPs (however all new joiners join on 37 hours per week/ pro-rata for part-time)
  • Special recognition bonus scheme
  • Special leave for unplanned emergencies and for voluntary work
  • Employee Assistance Programme offering confidential support and advice for personal and work issues and occupational health
  • Health and well-being initiatives such as flu-vaccinations
  • Free eye tests and eyecare vouchers for VDU workers
  • Interest free season ticket loans
  • Regular professional development
  • Professional HR Case Management support for Managers
  • Disability Confident Employer
  • Striving to become an anti-racist organisation
  • CCQM- Cultural Cohesion Quality Mark 

Flexible working hours

The Youth Justice Board a flexible working system in many offices.


The Youth Justice Board offers a range of benefits:

For nationally advertised campaigns, candidates will be appointed to their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


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


The Youth Justice Board is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Expected W/C 13th November 2023

27/10/2023, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0345 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com Please quote the job reference - 80303.

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

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.

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on one lead behaviour. The chosen lead behaviour for this campaign is Communicating and Influencing.
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

Communicating and Influencing - 250 word limit
Seeing the Big Picture - 250 word limit
Statement of Suitability - 500 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Communicating and Influencing, may be held if a large number of applications are received. If a large number of applications remain after the initial sift, your application will be progressed to a full sift, where all behaviours will then be considered.

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Communicating and Influencing
Seeing the Big Picture
Making Effective Decisions
Changing and Improving
Developing Self and Others
Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.
Additional Assessment(s)
Written Exercise
Any candidate who has been assessed as being appointable to the role they applied for may be offered a similar, lower grade role, if one is available. Furthermore, any candidate who has just missed meeting the criteria for a particular role, may be appointed to a similar role at a lower grade if such a role is available, and if they have been assessed as meeting the criteria for the lower grade role. These appointments will also be made in merit order.

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.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

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.