Programme Manager - Real World Learning, Newham

Closing date:Expiring soon

School 21Newham

Date posted:
Start date: ASAP
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: PO2 (starting salary of £34,986) per annum
Contract term: Permanent

Essential experience: At least two years’ relevant work experience


School 21 is an internationally recognised school based in East London. With a mission to develop young people who are equipped to change the world for the better, our work with students is made up of three key pillars:

  • Head - knowledge. The best that has been thought and said, including the things we believe that young people should know despite the fact that they might never be examined on it for a state test (e.g. feminism, sustainability, geopolitics etc.).
  • Heart - character and wellbeing. We believe that all children should be known, and need to feel well in themselves in order to learn best. As such, we dedicate two and a half hours per week to coaching, where students receive group coaching in order to better understand themselves and how they relate to others.
  • Hand - the ability to generate ideas and problem solve. We know that having lots of knowledge is not enough to succeed. Young people, especially those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, need to practice using that knowledge to actively change the world around them for the better. This is why we dedicate two afternoons per week to project-based learning, where students are working on a real life project.

The real world learning programme gives students an opportunity to develop across the three pillars. A revolutionary way of doing work experience, the RWLP sees every student in Year 10, and half of the students in Years 12 and 13, going out of school for half a day per week every single week to work for an employer on an authentic piece of work.

Projects in the past have included working with the Metropolitan Police on a strategy to tackle county lines, working with HSBC on diversifying their talent pipeline, and working with BT Sport on increasing their app usage amongst young people, amongst many others!

The role

This is an exciting role for an enthusiastic, creative, personable and well-organised individual working in an innovative and influential school. As Programme Manager, you will be responsible for the delivery of the real-world learning programme, from sourcing placements, to working with employers and coaches to match students to placements, to designing and running the final exhibition.

This is not traditional work experience or shadowing, but the chance for our students to work in teams over a long period of time in order to execute a specific, discrete and meaningful project in a workplace with their end goal being to solve a real problem for the organisations in which they work.

The role will also be about taking a leading role in School 21’s careers provision. This will include forging high quality, deep relationships with universities, businesses and local organisations, running a speakers series, and arranging our yearly work insights day for Year 9.

Working within a small and busy team, you will be comfortable using your initiative and working with a wide variety of stakeholders from school students to Secretaries of State. You will coordinate networks of employers, ensure delivery of project aims and evaluate the impact of our work. With your excellent organisational skills, you will be good at preparing for every eventuality, but you will also be flexible and adaptable when faced with change.

You will have a good understanding of the education sector and be able to spot opportunities and identify risks that may accelerate or undermine progress towards our programme goals. You will be adept at juggling competing priorities and understanding the needs and motivations of the diverse range of individuals and organisations engaged in our work.

A confident and persuasive communicator, you will write resources and publicity materials, speak in public, chair meetings and promote our work across social media. As an ambassador for School 21, you will represent the organisation at meetings and events, and use your expertise, knowledge and charm to influence others to get involved.

Key accountabilities

  • Managing and running the real world learning programme
  • Liaising with multiple stakeholders and coordinating their involvement in projects
  • Gathering regular stakeholder feedback to help promote continuous improvement
  • Representing School 21 at internal and external meetings and events
  • Ensuring that interactions and activity with partners are recorded appropriately using our contact management database
  • Taking responsibility for School 21’s 4-16 careers and aspirations programme

Skills, experiences and competencies

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to establish effective working relations with internal and external colleagues and stakeholders
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrable experience of successful project management
  • Good IT skills including use of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Outstanding organisation, prioritising and planning skills
  • Ability to work independently, self-motivate and work on own initiative
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines as required
  • Resilience and flexibility in changing situations and requirements
  • Experience of coordinating multiple tasks, projects and events with a variety of stakeholders
  • Experience of event planning, coordination and execution
  • Good understanding of the education sector (experience of working in or with schools is desirable)

You will love this job if…

  • You want to be part of a growing force for innovation in education
  • You enjoy working with committed people in a friendly and purposeful environment
  • You thrive in small teams and when multi-tasking and juggling competing priorities
  • You have the confidence to ask for help from many different people
  • You are a natural networker and enjoy developing new relationships
  • You are passionate about education and creating opportunities for young people
  • You like people and people like you!


How to apply

Please complete the online application form which can be found here.

If you wish to have an informal discussion about this role, please email Debbie Penglis, Director of Partnerships, on

Closing date: Midday on Monday 22nd July

Interview date: Tuesday 30th July

More about School 21
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: All-through with sixth form
Funding status: State - Free School
Gender: Mixed
Age Range: 4 - 18 years
Address: Pitchford Street, Stratford, London, E15 4RZ, United Kingdom. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 20 8262 2121
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About School 21

School 21 is a pioneering 4 to 18 school in Stratford, East London, for girls and boys and children from all starting points and backgrounds. We are looking for the next cohort of teachers who want to continue to shape the school so t...