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The £40,000 Solving Together Fund has launched today and will be open to applicants until 24th June 2019 with the aim of supporting two high-potential, early-stage interventions using digital technology to improve parental engagement in maths for secondary students (11-16 years old). The fund is part of Maths Mission a partnership set up by Tata and Nesta in 2017 aiming to find innovative new ways to increase young people’s interest in maths, and improve their maths skills.

The Solving Together Fund is open to organisations implementing their work in UK schools, with a particular interest in applicants working in communities with lower educational outcomes. Grantees will gain both funding and support relevant to their individual needs provided by Nesta and Tata for a period of six months. This could include advice on business modelling, measuring of impact or marketing.

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 is mixed. This fund will contribute towards building the evidence base on which technology interventions work in improving parental engagement.

Social enterprises, charities and private enterprises are all welcome to apply. Interventions can be delivered within the school curriculum, in non-curriculum time or outside of schools. The fund is open to organisations that are in the early-stages of developing their intervention, perhaps having had positive results in one school but hoping to spread to new locations, or organisations that have tested their intervention in many schools but would like to run a pilot in a new context, for example moving from primary schools to secondary schools.

The Solving Together Fund grants will support grantees with their:

Implementation - testing their projects in more locations or a new context in order to further improve and refine them and reach more schools, parents and students

Evidence - supporting organisations to gather further insights into the effectiveness of their intervention, that can be used to improve the intervention

Kate Bower, on the education team at Nesta says, “We believe that getting parents more involved in their child’s maths education could make a real difference in their child’s confidence in the subject and attainment. Digital technology could be used to connect the dots, build connections between schools and parents and make the subject more approachable. We look forward to hearing from the EdTech companies that could make a real difference in this space.”

Tim Jones CBE, Executive Director at Tata Limited added “Tata has businesses in an array of industries such as IT and communications, engineering products and services, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The one thing all these industries have in common is that maths plays a vital role in all that our 60,000+ employees in the UK do daily and it is crucial that the next generation have the right maths skills. We have a history of supporting exciting start-ups and we look forward to seeing some innovative solutions on how digital technology can play a part in encouraging parents to support their children in maths.”

Frank Kelly, Chair of the Royal Society Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education, says, “Parents can help their children’s maths simply by being interested- and digital technology can help make maths fun for both parents and children.”

Nesta has a history of working on parental engagement primarily through the Early Years Social Action Fund (£1.2m) which scaled proven social action interventions that help children to achieve development outcomes by directly supporting parents. Nesta and Tata’s previous Maths Mission work on parental engagement in maths - researching the impact of a text messaging intervention on parental engagement and maths skills with the Behavioural Insights Team - has shown the potential for digital technology to be used in this space.

To apply for the Solving Together Fund please go to Nesta’s website.

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For more information contact Juliet Grant in Nesta’s press office on 020 7438 2668 or 07866 949047, [email protected]

Notes to editors:

About Nesta

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. We've spent over 20 years working out the best ways to make change happen through research and experimenting, and we've applied that to our work in innovation policy, health, education, government innovation and the creative economy and arts. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.

About Tata group

Having established Tata Limited in 1907 to represent the group in Europe, Tata now has 19 companies operating across the continent, with a combined workforce of over 60,000. These companies include: Jaguar Land Rover; Tata Steel Europe; Tata Motors; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS); Tata Global Beverages (including Tetley Tea); Tata Chemicals and Taj Hotels. European markets with a key Tata presence include; the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands