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The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), launched on 1 April 2017, brings together the existing responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA), to create a single funding agency accountable for funding education and training for children, young people and adults.
The ESFA is an Executive Agency of the Department for Education and is organised into seven groups, which are Capital, Academies and Maintained Schools, Intervention and Young People’s Funding, Funding and Programmes (Apprenticeships and Adults), National Apprenticeship Service, Transactions Unit and, Central Services and Transformation (CST). The CST group is responsible for shared business services i.e. data science and, provider risk assurance.
The graduate roles are permanent positions with an initial 18 month training scheme period. Graduates will undertake a variety of roles within the Provider Risk and Assurance division. Roles and responsibilities may vary and graduates will need to be adaptable and resilient, ready to undertake a diverse range of tasks including those set out under the main activities section.
The work is flexible and fast-paced and will offer the opportunity to work across a number of different assurance strands, including funding audits, financial control based audits, reviews of providers’ financial health through the analysis of financial plans and statement, investigation and financial intervention cases. As such the roles require close working and collaboration and partnering with colleagues across ESFA and the wider Department. The assurance plan has an annual cycle of assurance activities and the graduate roles will focus on particular priorities as they fall due throughout the year. Graduates will be expected to operate as ambassadors for Provider Risk and Assurance, the ESFA and the Department.
Main activities are likely to include:
- Data analysis and development of new models to help the team better use data.
- Assessing the financial health of providers through review and challenge of financial returns.
- Leading and assisting on intervention work in academy trusts, further education and sixth form colleges in poor financial health or with poor financial governance. This may include visits to providers, agreements to and assessment of recovery plans with providers. This will require close interaction with colleagues across ESFA
- Supporting fact-finding/evidence gathering reviews at learning instiutions where there is evidence of financial impropriety.
- Leading and assisting on complex funding assurance audits at colleges and other providers.
- Contributing to work that supports the successful development of the academies programme by contributing to ministerial briefing, assessing business cases from providers and collaborating with colleagues in DfE to provide support and financial input on casework and requests for financial information.
- Contributing to work that supports development and implementation of the assurance approach for the apprenticeship levy programme.
The successful candidate will have:
- A degree in a discipline such as finance, accounting, business, counter fraud or data analytics.
- Some experience working as part of a team, whilst also being able to work independently.
- Experience using and knowledge of spreadsheets and database packages, or other similar software.
- Be able to build complex analytical models
- Have excellent customer facing and people skills, being able to communicate between the technical and the non-technical
- Be innovative
- Be able to exercise limited discretion, take decisions, manage and improve processes and represent the organisation, where necessary.
- Be an effective communicator and be able to present persuasively and produce usable drafts and reports.