Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on jobs.justice.gov.uk. Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Communications / Marketing

Deputy Head of News – 67421
£66,698 – £76,760
London

Apply BACK TO SEARCH

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.

Background

The MoJ Press Office sits at the absolute heart of one of Whitehall’s most dynamic, exciting and newsworthy departments. It provides outstanding communications and advice on MoJ priorities including delivering justice for victims, cutting crime and reoffending, and ensuring prisons which can put get offenders back on the straight and narrow.

You will be joining a wider, multi-award-winning communications team which never stops innovating. Our world-class public service communications have been recognised for their creativity, use of data and impact both here and abroad. Whether it’s recruiting thousands of extra frontline staff, driving economic growth for UK legal services, helping victims of sexual violence to take the first step in accessing support, or empowering citizens to take action and change the law – all communications in the MoJ are designed to make a difference and benefit the public.

About the role

The Deputy Head of News is a crucial leadership role where no two days will be the same. A positive, unflappable personality is a must. You will have real influence at the highest levels of the MoJ and wider government and responsibility for driving a dynamic, high-performing team to even greater heights. Our press operation of highly experienced communication professionals handles over 8,000 calls a year and is highly valued by the Deputy Prime Minister, ministers and senior leadership. You will play a fundamental role in leading a team that works under constant pressure to tight deadlines, in order to protect and advance the reputation of the department and Government. This job is as rewarding as it is challenging. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to and nurture a culture that supports, empowers and motivates the team to meet the highest possible standards.

We have teams of press and communications officers on specialist desks who take the initiative in seeking imaginative ways to generate proactive media coverage for our work. They are complemented by a dedicated reactive newsdesk that responds to breaking news stories, manages bids and briefs regional, national and specialist journalists on key issues leading the news each day across the whole departmental portfolio. Our planning and strategy team provides a Whitehall-leading service that ensures all activity is timed and sequenced to achieve maximum impact, while our speechwriters provide top-class support to Ministers and the wider department.

The Deputy Head of News plays a crucial leadership role overseeing and steering the work of the various teams and is responsible for delivering a high-quality 24/7 media relations operation for Ministers, Executive Agencies and officials across the full range of the department’s brief. The successful candidate will be one of two deputies, working as a tight-knit senior leadership team alongside the Head of News.

You will be expected to quickly become a trusted adviser to Ministers and Special Advisers, be a key part of the directorate’s Senior Leadership Team, a visible ambassador for the communications team, and capable of making a significant contribution to the smooth operation of the whole office. The successful candidate will also receive overtime payments for out-of-hours work.

Key responsibilities

You will be expected to:

  • Act as the deputy for the Head of News – including regular attendance at meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister, wider Ministerial team and Board-level officials.
  • Manage a strong-performing Press Office to develop proactive handling strategies that set the agenda across the full range of channels, as well as a busy and reactive newsdesk.
  • Oversee media handling advice on policy briefs to the Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers, senior officials and colleagues on sensitive, complex and high-profile issues.
  • Understand the Departmental and Ministerial priorities and convey them to your team so they can communicate the key messages clearly, accurately and creatively to media.
  • Anticipate and spot breaking news stories and drive your team to issue swift, robust and appropriate responses.
  • Have personal impact in the full range of media work from briefing journalists to advising ministers face-to-face.
  • Ensure the team is using the full range of channels in promoting our priorities, maximising digital tools and using relevant insight to get the best possible results.
  • Provide support and direction to your team, with particular attention to their learning and development, while fostering a positive and supportive culture.
  • Play a full part in the press office senior management team, including some out-of-hours on-call support.
  • Take responsibility for managing and developing communications skills on your team to achieve the best performance, build staff potential and work towards the GCS Modern Communications Operating Model (MCOM2.0).
  • Acting as a key member of the Senior Leadership Team in the Communications Directorate, work collaboratively with senior colleagues to deliver the Department’s Communications Strategy, and play an active role in corporate initiatives that improve engagement.
  • Ensure effective collaboration between the Press Office and other communications functions in the MoJ and its agencies. This post is site-specific to London, with some hybrid working, and will report to the Head of News. You will be expected to participate in a management back-up rota for the out-of-hours duty press officers, for which generous overtime payments are provided.

Essential Criteria

You will have a sharp news sense, strong political savvy and outstanding media skills. We are looking for a talented leader with the drive and determination to thrive under pressure, inspire their teams and take tough decisions in their stride. As the Deputy Head of News you will need to set an example for the whole office and be an enthusiastic team player.

Behaviours 

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

  • Behaviours: Communicating and Influencing 
  • Behaviours: Leadership 
  • Behaviours: Delivering at pace
  • Technical: Comms insight – press and media 
  • Technical: Comms ideas – press and media 
  • Technical: Comms implementation – press and media 
  • Technical: Comms impact – press and media

Further Information:

Salary

Existing civil servants on level transfer will retain their level of pay unless this is lower than the starting salary as per MoJ T&Cs. The salary range for Band A staff is £66,698 – £76,760. Overall remuneration will be higher as a result of out-of-hours payments provided.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices. However, the nature of the roles means working hours can be unpredictable. You will be expected to take part in the out-of-hours duty rota as a back-up manager.

Further information

If you have any queries about the application form, terms of employment, the recruitment process or you need any further information about the vacancy you are encouraged to contact:

Richard Jones, Head of News, richard.jones2@justice.gov.uk

Salary

£66,698 - £76,760

Additional Information

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.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

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.

Pension

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

Training

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

Networks

The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

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.