Ministerial Private Secretary Roles

Private Secretaries work in a Minister's Private Office, supporting them in their ministerial role, particularly you will:

  • Directly advise and work with ministers to support them to deliver their Ministerial priorities;

  • Set direction to and work with senior civil servants and teams across the department to ensure they provide high quality advice on policy and operational issues; and,

  • Support ministers to fulfil their Ministerial duties, supporting them in a wide range of meetings and events, and ensuring they are well briefed for parliamentary debates and select committees.

In Ministerial offices, no prior knowledge or experience of educational policy, or working in central government, is required, although may be helpful.
Responsibilities Essential Criteria

Successful applicants will be hardworking and comfortable operating in high-pressure environments, particularly:

  • Excellent organisational skills and be able to prioritise effectively to manage a high workload in high pressure situations

  • Ability to establish and maintain relationships with a diverse range of people, including senior stakeholders and use these to influence others and find consensus

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and be confident articulating and delivering complex and sometimes difficult messages

  • Work effectively in a team, being flexible and adaptable to support the wider team goals when needed

  • Ability to process and analyse large amounts of information, draw conclusions and weigh up conflicting evidence to make clear recommendations


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.