Secondary (11-18) Music Teacher (Maternity Cover)

Salary information: Inner London (Plus TLR depending on skills & experience)
Start date: April 2024 (would consider May or September for the right candidate)
Location: Stratford, Newham
Contract type: Maternity Cover- 1yr, subject to an enhanced DBS check

Early application is encouraged as we are hoping to interview and appoint someone as soon as possible.  School 21 reserves the right to close applications early and make an appointment at any stage.

School 21 is a pioneering 4-18 school that opened in September 2012 in Stratford, East London. We are looking for a Secondary music teacher to take on an important maternity cover role in a department that is at the centre of the community at School21. The successful candidate must be a passionate practitioner and curriculum maker. We also encourage aspiring or existing Heads of Music to apply as there is potential to lead aspects of the curriculum and team. There will be a number of collaborative opportunities including working alongside our Primary music lead, three other full time music teachers, and our dynamic team of eleven instrumental teachers, including two Musicians in Residence. 

Music has a central place in the life of School 21 – not just in the core curriculum, where it is a beacon of excellence, ambition and innovation, but as part of project based learning, the enrichment programme, celebration assemblies and whole school exhibitions and events.  Our Festival of Light concerts in the Autumn term, which involve every child across the school, showcase the outcomes of all year group music projects and a range of ensembles and are a central part of the school culture, celebrating not only the students, but teachers and parents as part of a staff and community choir.  We believe in nurturing every member of our school community by including every child in such events, whilst driving the highest standards of performance and creativity possible. Music and drama also combine each year to produce a high quality musical, and we run a recital series across the school calendar to celebrate the work of individual and small group ensembles. Across all phases of the school, a culture of music is being nurtured both in and out of the classroom, and we are looking for someone dedicated to the growth of their own practice, as well as that of the department and school music culture.

To ensure this role can be fully delivered, the successful candidate will work alongside the current Head of 11-18 Music during the summer term, so that they have the time to fully understand and be immersed in the school, the department and music curriculum at School21. Following the return of staff after maternity leave, there may be the opportunity for a permanent post in the music department, which can be discussed with the successful candidate at the appropriate time. 

School 21 is a very special and different kind of place to work in. All of us are striving to become pioneers (rethinking key aspects of education practice), multipliers (growing others and building teams) craftspeople (who think deeply about their practice) and people with integrity and humanity (driven by a strong sense of values and purpose). This is what we are looking for in new members of staff.  We empower staff to find their voice and their creativity.  We offer collaboration and learning across ages and subjects. All staff have more planning time than most schools and a tailored programme of professional development which results in strong outcomes for the students.  We believe strongly in developing the full potential of all staff.

Since we opened in 2012 we have put learning and teaching at the heart of everything we do. We have also pioneered real world, interdisciplinary learning in collaboration with a network of extraordinary organisations: creative, artistic, high tech, professional. 

At School 21  we believe that the purpose of education is to develop the whole child: head (academics), heart (character and well-being) and hand (generating ideas, problem solving, creating extraordinary authentic outcomes).

The successful candidate will be:

  • An excellent teacher with outstanding subject knowledge
  • A creative and deep thinker about pedagogy
  • A strong musician, and ideally a confident pianist or guitarist
  • A collaborative planner 
  • An excellent team builder 
  • Interested in developing the growth of every child – head, heart and hand 


  • 4 to 18 mixed, inclusive school in the heart of Stratford, Newham
  • Cutting edge pedagogy and curriculum


  • Exceptional CPD 
  • The chance to network with outstanding practitioners and learn from the best
  • Collaborative working across the 4 to 18 school
  • A strong feedback culture so that teachers can develop in areas of their practice that are important to them
  • Every teacher being part of a team/circle that develops strategic practice 

For more information please see the candidate information pack, or visit or e-mail Sakshi Saxena –  [email protected].

School 21 is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

How to apply

Please complete the online application on the careers page.

Closing date

March 1, 2024




We value a culture which supports and develops all our people, where people come, stay and flourish.

The qualities we look for in our staff are reflected in our values and we look for people who are passionate about our mission and are keen to collaborate to ensure the best possible outcome for our students, families and communities.

We look to create an enabling, engaging, psychologically safe and collaborative culture and look to recruit staff of all levels and backgrounds.


Staff wellbeing is at the heart of our values

We are proud to offer family friendly policies including flexible working, shared parental and adoption leave plus a maternity return to work programme

We are passionate about supporting our staff through our Menopause policy

We offer 26 days annual leave for our full time staff which rises to 28 days after 3 years of service and 31 days after 5 years’ service

Free 24/7 counselling, legal and information line

Online Healthy living and financial support portal

Lifestyle discounts to High Street shops, restaurants etc

Free online monthly Yoga classes

Free Flu vaccinations (if you are not eligible via the NHS)


We believe passionately about high quality CPD

Access to Big Education leadership courses Big 8 and Big Leadership Adventure

Access to our CPD hub for online courses

We support external study routes linked to your role

All staff annual Inset day

We are proud to be a London living wage employer

Health & Financial Wellbeing

Reducing financial stress

You’re entitled to the scheme from day one, helping you plan for the future

  • Big Education contributes to your pension
  • Tax efficient savings
  • Protection for your family
  • Flexible retirement

Electric car scheme, to help reduce our carbon footprint

Cycle to work scheme

Interest free travel season ticket loan

My Gym and My Active discount schemes

Technology IT scheme

Free mindfulness Headspace app

Free Will writing

Staff Discounts

Values in action

Passionate about our commitment to Climate & Sustainability

We encourage both pupils and staff to think about the environment and how their actions will impact upon their local surroundings, as well as the global environment.

Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

We create a working environment in which all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.

We are committed to supporting our staff and applicants to be their authentic selves in the workplace without judgement and ensuring that diverse communities are celebrated.

Community Engagement

Join us in making a positive impact on society through our school community engagement initiatives. Check out our school websites and socials for details!