External Engagement Officer

Hours: Full-time

Contract type: Fixed Term 12 months

Salary: EO – £28,500 – £30,000

The Children’s Commissioner for England promotes and protects the rights of children, especially the most vulnerable. This includes special responsibilities for the rights of children who are in or leaving care, living away from home or receiving social care services.

Independent of Government, the Children’s Commissioner has unique powers to help bring about long-term change and improvements for children. She does this by first gathering evidence: talking to children and young people, requesting information from public institutions and then carrying out research and compiling information on the wide range of things that affect children’s lives. She is the ‘eyes and ears’ of children in England.

It is an exciting time to join the Children’s Commissioner’s Office. The new Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, has launched the Childhood Commission, a once-in-a-generation review of the future of childhood which will identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, and come up with solutions to these problems. It included the largest ever survey of children in England, The Big Ask. This survey aimed to reach every child in England, and asked them how the pandemic changed their lives, what their aspirations are and the barriers to reaching them, how things are at home, how their communities and local environment could be improved, and how they feel about the future and the challenges facing the world.

Please note this post is fixed term and office based for around 3 days per week (Central London). We would also consider applications from candidates seeking a secondment, subject to approval from the candidate’s host organisation. We welcome applications from both inside and outside the Civil Service.

Purpose of the role:

This is an external facing role with responsibility for managing relationships with parliamentarians and external stakeholders. You will explore ways to develop our relationships with stakeholders, keeping in close touch with them to promote our agenda and be informed about theirs.

You will also keep up to date with political changes and current affairs, being able to provide responses to Oral Parliamentary Questions and briefings for MPs.

Whilst the post holder has specific responsibilities, as a member of a small team it will be necessary to become familiar, through time, with other associated aspects of the work of the Office in order to provide cover for colleagues during busy periods and absences. The postholder will be proactive and willing to contribute to the overall performance of the team.


Key responsibilities will include:

  • Keeping MPs, think tanks, charities and third parties informed of the OCC’s work
  • Draft guidance on OCC’s work to support Select Committees in their work
  • Facilitate relationships between the OCC and key stakeholders in Whitehall and Parliament, including implementing a plan to significantly boost the awareness of the OCC’s work across Parliament
  • Building relationships with cross-Party MPs
  • Be aware of all legislation relevant to the OCC’s work as it moves through Parliament in order to provide support to the Office and liaison where appropriate
  • Third Party and MP briefings on topics related to the work that the OCC is undertaking; framing our policy and research reports into appropriate briefings for MPs and other key stakeholders.
  • Preparing responses to Oral Parliamentary Questions
  • Providing regular updates for MPs, including producing a newsletter detailing the current work of the OCC
  • Organising visits with MPs to keep them informed of the OCC’s work
  • Maintaining a database of MPs and their office contacts, updating and recording changes as necessary
  • Brief the Commissioner and wider team on political developments
  • Attend meetings and events on behalf of the Commissioner, often outside of normal working hours
  • Organise events and engagement with policy makers within Whitehall and Westminster

Essential Skills/Requirements:

  • Direct experience in External Affairs, Government relations and/or stakeholder engagement roles and customer relationship management.
  • An eye for emerging issues and trends which might influence or benefit our work.
  • Strong influencing skills and the ability to build rapport with a range of stakeholders, complemented by the ability to prioritise and manage competing demands
  • A track record of working collaboratively with colleagues at every level across an organisation and with external partners.
  • An understanding of political/news landscape, able to advise on risks and reputational issues and demonstrate political awareness
  • Experience of contributing to a fast-moving project and working to tight deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal skills.

Desirable skills/experience:

  • Public sector experience, either in local or central government
  • Experience of using insight and evaluation to improve communications.
  • Stakeholder management experience related to campaigns that have a low cost/ no cost element
  • Experience of briefing senior officials
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft packages such as Excel and PowerPoint.

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How to apply

To apply please download the attached job description and email a copy of your CV, statement of suitability of how you meet the essential skills/experience (no more than 500 words), candidate information form and the Equality and Diversity form to our recruitment team by midnight Sunday 05 December 2021 by clicking the apply now link below.

Applications will be sifted against the requirements set out in the essential skills/experience listed in the job description.

Interviews for short-listed candidates are expected to take place during the w/c 13 December 2021. Successful candidates may also be required to attend a second face-to-face interview w/c 20 December 2021.

Apply now

Submissions by midnight Sunday 05 December 2021.

Interviews will be held w/c 13 December 2021.