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. At Nesta we believe that there is a huge potential for digital technology to be used to address challenges in the education system and through our new strategy we are working to build the evidence base on which technology interventions work in improving parental engagement.

Through this fund we are particularly interested in how improved parental engagement in maths can lead to improved maths outcomes for secondary students. This 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 and collaborative problem-solving skills.

The aims of this fund are to:

  • Identify high-potential digital technology interventions that can improve parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes for young people
  • Support organisations to further grow their work and gather new insights into the effectiveness of their intervention

This fund supports grantees with existing early-stage interventions that have shown potential for significant impact on parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes for young people.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 programme
Eligibility Criteria

We are looking for interventions that:

  • Aim to improve parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes in young people aged 11 - 16. We will consider applications from organisations working on parental engagement across different subjects, but the application must be for work focused on maths.
  • Use digital technology as one of the primary means of delivery. We are particularly interested in interventions that promote meaningful parental engagement, beyond sharing information with parents, and which are accessible to all parents.
  • Have already been tested at least once in one school or location and will be seeking to test the implementation of their intervention further, potentially in a different school context
  • Have developed an intervention that is used within the school/college curriculum, in non-curriculum time or outside of/separate from school/college
  • Deliver in any part of the UK, but we are particularly interested to hear from applicants working in communities with lower educational outcomes (category 5 and 6 areas as defined by the Department for Education)
  • Are committed to using evidence, understanding and improving their impact and can evidence that they are at least at Level 1 on the Nesta Standards of Evidence
  • Can commit to involvement in non-financial support that Nesta and/or Tata will provide. More detail will be available to shortlisted applicants
  • Can demonstrate how this funding would support further testing and implementation
  • Can explain sound ideas for how the project could be sustainably grown in the future, and how the intervention can be replicated across schools/locations
  • Nesta are ideally looking for organisations who work collaboratively with schools and parents to ensure their intervention is implemented effectively e.g they provide training to teachers and parents on the intervention works
  • Have a lead already in place, who is supported by a competent management team or board, who are open to challenge and support
  • Are being implemented by organisations e.g a social enterprise, charity or company. We cannot support individuals.
  • Advance Nesta’s charitable objects for public benefit. Applicants must make the public benefit of their work clear in their application form.
Selection Criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Your idea: the intervention aims to improve parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes for young people aged 11-16. Applicants can demonstrate a clear and compelling case for why and how they will do this. There is a clear link between the proposed activities/intervention and the outcomes of improved parental engagement in maths and maths outcomes for young people. Digital technology is used as one of the primary means of delivery in the intervention.
  2. Evidence and impact: the application demonstrates that the intervention meets at least level 1 on Nesta’s Standards of Evidence. Applicants are able to provide convincing evidence in the form of their own data/insights into the wider evidence base for why the intervention has potential for impact. The application demonstrates a clear and convincing commitment to gathering insights into the effectiveness of the intervention, including some ideas of the measures that could be used to monitor and measure outcomes.
  3. Potential for growth: Applicants have piloted their intervention in at least one school or location and can provide clear and convincing evidence of the potential for impact.

The intervention has a convincing plan for how the funding would be used, and it is clearly part of a longer term plan for development of the intervention. The demand for the intervention is clearly articulated and evidenced. The application demonstrates that there is a suitably experienced and capable team that can deliver on the plans, and potentially take the intervention to scale.

Timeline and dates

Learning more about the fund

  • We will be hosting a webinar about the fund on the 14th June 2019. We strongly encourage potential applicants to attend the webinar as it is designed to be an open invitation to find out more about what we are looking for from applications. If you can't attend please find the webinar slides from our first webinar on the FAQs page.
  • See our FAQs.

Submit an application

  • The fund opened on the 15th May and closed on the 24th June 2019.


  • Fund applications will be shortlisted by staff from Nesta and Tata.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview with a panel of judges from Nesta. It is likely that this will be a virtual (online) interview but may be in person.
  • Nesta will convene a panel of relevant external experts who will review the shortlisted applications and results from the interviews.
  • Nesta will make the final decision based on the application forms, interviews and advice from experts.

Key dates

15th May 2019: fund opens for applications

14th June 2019: participation in the webinar to find out more about the fund

24th June 2019: deadline for submitting applications

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

Further information can be found on the full terms and conditions and FAQs pages.