Introducing our Emergent Needs Fund project partners

18 June 2020

Our CEO Essie North introduces our first cohort of projects from our Emergent Needs and Opportunities Fund.

What a year 2020 has already been. This is a time when our individual and collective experiences point clearly to the need for big changes in the way we learn, live, and relate to one another. 

The 10 hopes for change we outlined at the end of 2019 feel more relevant than ever and we remain committed to our role in catalysing long term change. 

We have been actively working with our existing project partners to adapt their strategies to the current circumstances. We also quickly recognised the need to back the leaders who were stepping up in this moment with solutions that have real potential now, and in the long term. By listening to the frontline and reaching out to cross-sector partners, we identified key areas where we could make the greatest impact. We ran an accelerated project selection process by proactively seeking ideas and accepting nominations and proposals from across the sector. 

The result of that is our Emergent Needs and Opportunities Fund. We are delighted to share with you the first wave of projects we are backing at this time. 

Each of these leaders has honed in on a compelling emergent need, has a bold ambition for long-term system change, and demonstrates a style of leadership that is both visionary and inclusive and of course, their solutions have big potential for impact. We are really excited to work with each of them, alongside our existing project leaders, to show that a new way is possible and ensure we are actively seizing this moment to support big change for all our young people. 

Parent Ping

A question-based platform to engage and empower parents 

Pioneering leaders: Co-founders Laura McInerney, Becky Allen, Alex Weatherall, Karen Wespieser

More is being asked of parents than ever before, but their needs are not systematically being heard or actively included in shaping the education agenda.

Following the success of Teacher Tapp (a well-respected daily survey and insight sharing for teachers), the team is applying their knowledge and skills to support parents. 

Parent Ping will ask daily questions relating to all areas of parenting, often focusing on views about their child’s education, to help empower parents and carers. The team will also use this insight to impact policy, support parents and bring them into the education conversation.

Read more about Parent Ping 


A digital service putting young people at the heart of their school 

Pioneering leaders: Co-founders George Metcalfe and Aaron John

Due to isolation and school closures, both schools and young people are increasingly challenged to support wellbeing and mental health. 

The Tranquiliti platform has been co-designed with young people to help schools understand and improve the mental wellbeing of their students. Students answer a set of questions, designed in partnership with The Children’s Society, on how they’re feeling and are signposted to trusted advice and relevant support.

The co-founders are piloting the service and working with partners to achieve their bold ambition for supporting schools and young people nationwide.

Read more about Tranquiliti


Games and resources to help children’s development

Pioneering leader: Founder Jen Lexmond

Disadvantaged parents face significant pressures and challenges to support home learning, particularly in the early years.

We first funded EasyPeasy in 2018, and saw clearly the difference further developments could make during this time of crisis. The award-winning EasyPeasy platform is supporting families and practitioners as they discover their new home and distant-learning roles.

The team rapidly responded to the crisis by developing the model to make available support for the most disadvantaged families at this time. They’re now working with sector partners to provide timely content, rethinking and redeveloping their resources to be relevant to the new challenges emerging in the crisis and engaging more families through new user-led content.

Read more about EasyPeasy

The Education Exchange

A collaborative learning hub for educators 

Pioneering leader: CEO, Chartered College of Teaching, Professor Dame Alison Peacock

The coronavirus has brought new challenges and pressures to teachers and schools like never before as they quickly adapt to supporting home and/or blended learning. 

The Education Exchange will provide rapid short-term insight and support based on current challenges but will also offer teachers  a chance to connect, reflect and join a wider discussion about practical learning and how to adapt to what matters in education.

The Chartered College of Teaching’s digital hub will feature expert commissioned content, professionally edited user-submitted case studies, curated sign-posting to international resources, and real collaboration between teachers, school leaders and education researchers across the globe. This digestible, relevant and timely content and support will then count towards teachers CPD (continuing professional development) aiming to demonstrate a new adaptive model for ongoing learning in changing times. 

Read more about The Education Exchange

We are so proud to be supporting these pioneering leaders and projects that are responding to the needs of this moment, and laying foundations for long term change.

We’ll be releasing more information about each of these projects in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Do look out for the next wave of projects from the Emergent Needs Fund to be announced later in the summer. 

As ever, big thanks to all our supporters, funders and big changers, we couldn’t do this without you.

Essie x