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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Solving Together: Helping parents to support their child’s maths education

There is a well established connection between young people's success at school and levels of parental engagement, but the evidence on what interventions work in improving parental engagement is mixed.

When it comes to maths, parents can face a range of barriers when supporting their child’s maths education, such as new methods of teaching maths, their confidence in the subject and their own potentially negative experiences and perceptions of maths.

In June 2019, as part of Maths Mission, Tata and Nesta launched the Solving Together Fund to find two high-potential interventions which use digital technology to improve parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes for young people.

Nesta and Tata believe that there is a huge potential for digital technology to be used to address challenges in the education system, including for improving parental engagement. Previous work exploring the impact of a text messaging intervention on parental engagement and maths skills with the Behavioural Insights Team has demonstrated this potential, as has the work of the Education Endowment Foundation. Such interventions can often reach a large number of parents and provide them with resources and guidance to better support their child’s learning, as well as save teacher time contacting parents. Through the Solving Together Fund and EdTech Innovation Fund, we are working to build the evidence base on how interventions that use technology can work in improving parental engagement. We will be sharing learning generated in early 2020.

We are excited to announce the two successful organisations who will be supported through the Solving Together Fund. Both organisations will be testing their intervention further and gathering insights into the effectiveness of their intervention to be shared with the wider sector.

The promising interventions we’re supporting are:

Eedi: Awarded £28,000

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Eedi is a maths formative assessment app and platform which saves teacher’s time by quickly identifying what children find difficult and personalising their learning for the class and home. Eedi have recently developed a parent app to complement and work with their formative assessment platform. The app sends daily evidence-based actions to parents to complete, relating to their child’s maths education. They will use the grant to conduct a Randomised Control Trial and Implementation Process Evaluation into the effectiveness of their parent app, and its other associated functions, on parental engagement outcomes and maths outcomes for young people aged 11-12.

NRICH: Awarded £28,000

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NRICH is a collaboration between the Faculties of Mathematics and Education at the University of Cambridge, and provides rich mathematics education support for ages 3 to 18. NRICH will use the grant to publish parent-facing collaborative problem-solving resources online, designed to be engaging, accessible and build positive attitudes to maths. NRICH will also create supporting delivery guides to enable parents to use these resources at home and conduct a pilot of the digital resources with students aged 11-12 and their parents.


Kate Bower

Kate Bower

Kate Bower

Assistant Programme Manager, Education

Kate worked on the Maths Mission programme series of projects that run in partnership between Nesta and Tata.

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Jed Cinnamon

Jed Cinnamon

Jed Cinnamon

Senior Programme Manager, A Fairer Start

Jed was a senior programme manager in the fairer start mission at Nesta.

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