Through the Solving Together Fund we are particularly interested in how improved parental engagement in maths can lead to improved maths outcomes for young people. We believe that digital technology can offer cost effective and scalable approaches. This fund is part of Maths Mission a partnership set up by Tata and Nesta in 2017 aiming to find innovative ways to increase young people’s interest in maths, and improve their maths and collaborative problem-solving skills.
Why are we doing this?
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. Parents can face a range of barriers when it comes to supporting their child’s maths education including new methods of teaching maths and their own confidence in the subject. Both Nesta and Tata believe that there is a huge potential for digital technology to be used to address challenges in the education system. Through the Maths Mission and Nesta’s new education strategy we are working to build the evidence base on which technology interventions work in improving parental engagement.
Our previous 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 - and the work of others on texting parents including the Education Endowment Foundation, has shown the potential for digital technology to be used in this space.
Nesta has a history of working on parental engagement primarily through the Early Years Social Action Fund (£1.2m) which is scaling proven social action interventions that help children to achieve development outcomes by directly supporting parents. Nesta also has a long history working in education technology and we recently announced an EdTech partnership with the Department of Education to address some of the key challenges in the education system - parental engagement being one of these.
The Tata Group through its various companies have played a role in supporting education. In Wales more than 2,600 school children benefit from Tata Steel’s education and learning initiatives every year. Jaguar Land Rover through its ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’ initiative, partners with local schools in the UK to promote STEM subjects to help inspire young people to consider careers in engineering or manufacturing. The Tata Group has been working on a strong plan to encourage the use of digital technology in every aspect of their business and community relations, and so it is a natural fit to be working with Nesta on the Maths Mission to find some of the most effective digital technology interventions for improving parental engagement.
Through the Solving Together Fund we aim to contribute to the evidence base for how digital technology can be used to improve parental engagement in maths. This will help provide teachers with the right information to make evidence-based decisions on which interventions to use in their schools, and help to guide further development of interventions.
What are we doing?
This £40,000 fund will support two high-potential, early-stage interventions which use digital technology and aim to improve parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes for secondary students (11-16). Please find further details in the selection criteria. The financial support will last for a period of 6 months and grantees will have access to non-financial support provided by Nesta and Tata.
This fund supports grantees with existing early-stage interventions that have shown potential for significant impact on parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes. We are open to supporting organisations that are in the early-stages of developing their intervention e.g they have tested it in one school/location and have received some initial positive results and would like to test it further. We are also open to supporting organisations who have tested their intervention in more schools but would like to test it further or pilot the intervention in a new context e.g they have implemented it in primary schools and would now like to test it in a secondary school setting. The Solving Together 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
15th May 2019: fund opens for applications
30th May 2019: participation in the webinar to find out more about the fund
24th June 2019: deadline for submitting your application form via the online form
8th - 12th July 2019: shortlisted applicants invited for a virtual interview or in-person meeting
29th July 2019: shortlisted applicants informed of the final decision
Aug 2019 - Jan 2020: period of grant funding and non-financial support