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Sumdog selected for Nesta R&D programme to support the UK’s most disadvantaged students

Posted on 8th October 2020 by Olivia Tanner

In partnership with the Department for Education, Nesta has launched a new EdTech R&D programme as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

Sumdog is delighted to have been invited to work with Nesta as part of the programme to help improve the home learning experience for the most disadvantaged students in the UK.

Our mission at Sumdog is to help close the attainment gap by helping every child reach their full potential. We’re proud to have helped thousands of students continue their education at home during school closures this year, and we continue to support children who are having to learn remotely.  However, we are aware that changes and developments can be made in order to reach even more students, especially those in more deprived areas.

About the research programme

Sumdog will be amongst seven EdTech providers to be allocated funding to explore what product developments could help with home learning, and to support schools with implementing them. We want to find solutions that work in practice, not just in theory.

Nesta has launched this programme alongside findings from a data-mining research project, conducted over lock-down. The project highlighted that students from schools in the most deprived areas struggled to engage with home learning through EdTech compared to their peers, even more so than before the school closures. Students at these relatively disadvantaged schools were also found to be accessing resources more on mobile devices, rather than computers, adding to concerns about the poverty-related attainment gap that we know has been intensified by lockdown.

The initial phase of the project will run from now until December, during which we will work with ten partner schools in England to better understand how Sumdog can help to close the poverty-related attainment gap in the context of the at school / at home learning model that will inevitably be the reality for the near future. Partner schools will be offered a bespoke support package, and our findings will be shared throughout the programme.  


Share your feedback

We would love to hear your feedback on the home learning experience. What have students struggled with the most? What barriers have you faced? How could EdTech help?