|Department:||Department for Eduation|
I first came across Operational Research while doing my Maths A-level, though I didn’t realise it was OR until I was at university. I did a placement year working as a medical statistician but, while I liked the perks of working in the private sector, I liked the idea of a career in government more because I knew there I could make a difference to the lives of ordinary people.
In my final year, I went to a careers fair and talked to people from GORS about the varied work and the different departments and this made me more interested than ever. So, just two weeks after graduating I joined the Department for Education (DfE) where I began to look at different aspects of school and academy funding.
I started by providing analysis on school budgets; but before long, I was promoted and developed funding formulae for various school capital allocations. I’m now providing strategic analysis on the affordability of the academy and free school programmes. My work has been vital in negotiations between the department and HM Treasury for the DfE’s funding settlement. I’ve also built an analytical model to allocate funding to local authorities so that they‘re able to provide enough classrooms for England’s growing pupil population.
This was an extremely high profile and interesting project, especially as I got to show my model to two of the department’s senior policy advisors, whose thoughts and ideas on the subject I’ve been able to incorporate into the finished article.