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.

Welcome to the EdTech R&D Programme, we’re so pleased you’re participating in our programme and contributing your valuable time to this research. This is your R&D Partner School homepage and contains all the information and dates you might need. You can also visit our frequently asked questions for Schools page.

What is the EdTech R&D Programme?

Nesta is working in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver the EdTech R&D Programme, aiming to understand how remote learning EdTech tools can better meet the needs of teachers and students. We are supporting six EdTech providers with grant funding and evaluation support to improve their products and services, with a particular focus on the barriers faced by specific disadvantaged groups, such as students eligible for the pupil premium.

We are working with over 60 schools in England to generate direct feedback from teachers, students and parents and test the funded product improvements. Our 60 EdTech R&D Partner schools participate in surveys and focus groups to help us generate actionable insights for both the EdTech providers and the schools themselves that can be implemented immediately.

Key Dates



Our interim findings for the evaluation will be shared publicly in April, with bespoke findings for schools coming later.

School Support

Workshop 4: Monday 19th April, 9.00-10.30am

Exploring the use of EdTech for:

  • Feedback
  • Formative assessment
  • Retrieval Practice


School Support

Workshop 5: Monday 24th May 2.30-4.00pm,

with David Weston (CEO of Teacher Development Trust) and James Hoyle (Skipton Girls’ High School)



Summer term focus groups with pupils/parents and teachers: June 15th-29th.



Summer term pupil and teacher baseline surveys: July 7th-20th.

At the end of the Summer term, schools will receive an impact report detailing the outcomes of the evaluation and data insights about the use of the EdTech tool by pupil focus cohort (e.g. Pupil Premium students)

School Support

Celebration Event: Tuesday 6th July 9am - 10.30am

Key Contacts

  • Silvia Pau, Assistant Programme Manager and Schools lead for EdTech R&D Programme, Nesta, [email protected]
    • Silvia is coordinating each element of the R&D Programme and is your main point of contact for the programme as a whole, including your grant arrangements and data protection
  • Deena, Impact Partnerships Lead, ImpactEd, [email protected]
    • Deena is your key contact for the evaluation and will be in touch with you if there are any evaluation activities for you to participate in.
  • Dave, Project Officer, Teacher Development Trust, [email protected]
    • Dave is leading the school support from TDT and will be sharing upcoming workshop dates, resources and access to the School Partner Hub.
  • Phil Spoors, Expert Adviser for e-Learning, Teacher Development Trust [email protected]
    • Phil is delivering the CPD workshops for partner schools and offering one-to-one coaching calls (see below).

Accessing your benefits

  • Financial support: all R&D Partner Schools received £500 in December 2020 and will receive £750 in May 2021, to support their participation in the programme. You can use this to cover staff time, or with other costs associated with delivering remote learning this academic year. All details of the T&Cs of this grant are contained in the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Specialist school support: The Partner School Hub is a repository of all of TDT’s training and CPD resources, including recordings of past workshops, slide deck presentations and a forum to share good practices with the network of schools participating in the programme. You have received login credentials at the end of March. If you have any technical questions or issues you can get in touch with [email protected].
  • One-to-one coaching calls: All R&D Partner Schools have access to one-to-one coaching calls with Phil from the Teacher Development Trust to talk through EdTech plans or challenges specific to your context and tool. To book your call, email [email protected].
  • Data-driven insights: ImpactEd platform is an integrated platform where we will conduct student evaluation activities, allowing us to automate some data collection. We are also offering R&D Partners Schools free access to the wellbeing monitoring features. See our intro webinar slides here or watch it back here.
  • Celebrating your participation: Nesta and the DfE are continually grateful for the time contributed by each of our partner schools. We are planning a recognition event for the end of the academic year, more information to follow in the coming months.

Data Protection

We take data protection and our research ethics very seriously and have conducted a full and thorough Data Protection Impact Assessment ahead of this programme. You can access the important documents below, or reach out to [email protected] with specific questions.

  • Key documents:
    • Programme Privacy Notice
      • This details how personal information may be used within the programme, what information we might collect and the purpose of collecting it. You should ensure this privacy notice has been shared with all your staff, students and (where relevant) parents participating in the programme.
    • Nesta’s Data Sharing Schedule for the programme as a whole which you must comply with.
    • Impact Ed’s Data Sharing Agreement for use of the ImpactEd platform which you also must comply with.
    • We have prepared an Opt-out form which we ask that you share with all potential participants so they can let you know if they don’t wish to be involved.
  • Further information is available on our Frequently Asked Questions page
  • For specific questions about data protection, please contact Silvia Pau at [email protected]