Policy Lab Senior Designer / Maker Job at UK Government – Department for Education – in London

Job Description

Policy Lab comprises a multidisciplinary project team working openly and collaboratively, bringing together expertise in areas including policy, lived experience research, experimentation, art, systems thinking, futures and design. Over the seven years to date, the team has run over 100 policy projects with over 7,000 policy makers. The past year has seen a wider range of commissions than ever, working on areas from public engagement with emerging technologies, to the lived experience of COVID-19, to reducing carbon emissions in the ‘last mile’ of logistics. This has allowed us to experiment with cutting edge techniques in some of the most important challenges in government.

We are looking for candidates to contribute a strong design and/or making ethos to our work. We are open minded about which specific style or discipline you or your work may be situated within; the important thing is you can add to how we centre our work firmly around the citizen whilst also bringing a striking visual and material aesthetic to our process and outputs.

More about the Lab and our projects can be found on twitter @PolicyLabUK, on our blog: https://openpolicy.blog.gov.uk or on slideshare at: https://www2.slideshare.net/Openpolicymaking/introduction-to-policy-lab-jan-2021-241087221

Please note that the advertised role sits within the Department for Education, but in a team that acts as a cross-government service. This means you may only occasionally work on Department for Education matters.


We would design the exact nature of the role in a way which is informed by the skills, experiences and preferences of the successful candidate. Nonetheless, we expect the successful candidate to perform some or all of the following responsibilities, and we will be looking for relevant experience accordingly as part of the application process:

Essential Criteria

  • Leading projects where you will deploy your design and/or making skills to help teams develop policy around the lived experiences of those affected;
  • Driving forward the aesthetic and experience of Policy Lab’s outputs, including creating accessible and visually compelling physical and digital products;
  • Commissioning external experts (e.g. digital experts, makers, service designers) and managing their input into projects;
  • Using practical design and making skills to improve the Policy Lab’s suite of tools, techniques and communications materials;
  • Designing workshops and participatory events, using your materials expertise to enable creative thinking and effective decision making;
  • Supporting the creation and testing of prototypes in policy delivery environments, making physical, digital and speculative mock-ups of policy ideas;
  • Bringing a sense of new tools, techniques and approaches (‘next practice’), helping Lab act as a vanguard for innovation approaches in policymaking.


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

Seeing the Big Picture

Changing and Improving

Communicating and Influencing

Working Together

Managing a Quality Service


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, part-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.

About Company

Company: UK Government – Department for Education –

Company Location:  London

Job Category:

About UK Government - Department for Education -