Back to main menu
Back to main menu
Life in the Civil Service
Back to main menu

Find opportunities that work for you...

Share your feedback, help us improve this site

Department for

John Bannister

John Bannister is a Finance Assurance Manager at DfE and Co-Chair of the Neurodivergence Network

Tell us a bit about your journey into the Department for Education

I joined DfE in 2017, after working in DWP for almost 16 years, choosing DfE as it also impacts children and learners.  I also moved to DfE to experience working in a different Department and to stretch myself in a new role.  I chose a role that had responsibilities and opportunities that I was looking for and so that I could develop new skills.

Describe a day in the life at your current role

Since joining, although in the same post for just over 5 years my role is very different to what I did when I started.  One of the draws for applying and taking the job in the first place, was the role would change as tasks were completed.  My current role feels different every day.  My main role being grant assurance activities; assuring DfE grant funding is used as expected. I also carry out diversity activities, this includes being co-chair of the Neurodivergence Network and a Fair Treatment Ambassador.

Tell us about your highlights and successes whilst working here

My diversity roles are some of my greatest highlights.  Helping support people when they are in need, seeing the positive impact this has.  As co-chairs we were recognised with a DfE award for Outstanding Leadership in 2021.  Within my main role on grant assurance, it is seeing my improvement in knowledge around grant assurance and sharing this knowledge with colleagues.

John Bannister – Co-Chair of the Neurodivergence Network

John Bannister

Finance assurance manager and Co-Chair of the Neurodivergence Network

Illustration of a woman walking up stairs that she draws herself

What advice can you give someone about applying to work here?

For anyone thinking of applying to DfE, I would say go for the jobs that look of interest to you, that you think will stretch you.  Stretching myself and achieving those goals has been the most enjoyable aspect of working for DfE.

Applying for a job

Applying to the Civil Service is more open and fair than it has ever been.

We’ll assess your experience, as well as your strengths, and will give you the best opportunity to showcase these in application forms, interviews, and assessments.


The Civil Service provides many benefits for you and your family.

Things like health, well-being and discount schemes, the Civil Service Pension Scheme and reward and recognition schemes.


To help you during the recruitment process, we will take into account any adjustments that could help you.

Things like changing the time, location or format of interviews or providing interview questions in advance