Our data dive with DataKind UK

Members of our team recently spent a weekend in London with an amazing charity called DataKind UK. Along with a team of volunteer data experts hosted by DataKind, we set out to see what insights we could find from the data we have available on our platform. Here, we share our experience of working with DataKind, and what insights we were able to gain from the team of data scientists.

Our partnership with DataKind UK

DataKind is a UK charity that aims to transform the impact of charities through data science so that our work can have more of an impact. They connect charities with data scientists who volunteer their time and expertise with us for free. 

As a tech-based charity, our platform is rich with data. This gives us crucial insights into how our programme is used and how it can be improved. In particular, we are keen to have the insights to advise teachers using our platform on how they can support disadvantaged families to engage in their children’s education – which is at the heart of our mission. We also aim to share our insights with the wider education sector.

Thanks to our tech team at Poteris, all of the data provided to DataKind had been completely anonymised and stripped back to just those essential fields needed. This data was then given to our team of data scientists to analyse.

What did we get up to over the weekend?

Day 1 was all about getting to know the other charities there at the event, meeting the data experts who chose to work with us, and the delicious free food.

We were joined by ParentKind, a charity which helps give parents a voice in their children’s education through their network of Parent Teacher Associations, and Youth Sport Trust who aim to improve young people’s education and development through sport and play.

Once the data experts had chosen which charity they would like to work with – the data diving began! Our team of data experts got busy building programmes to analyse our data.

By day 2 some incredibly interesting findings were beginning to emerge. The great thing about us being there with the data experts was that we could talk through their findings, how they found them, and how we could develop our understanding even deeper. 

What we found out

Our data experts found a whole bunch of interesting statistics for us which we can’t wait to share, but for now my favourite findings for each questions are:

Q1 – What makes a fun and accessible activity?

Our Maths and English programme is designed to engage families in their children’s learning in a fun and accessible way, using hands-on, play-based activities. These activities have been categorised by our Content Team based on features such as whether they are indoors or outdoors, whether they are parent-led, or whether they require print-outs. We wanted to know if there were particular categories that lead to less engagement, particularly for disadvantaged families.

Some activity categories did lead to more engagement, and some led to less. For example, all groups of parents are significantly less like to do messy play activities, which is probably to be expected.

Intriguingly, some categories showed different effects for disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged families. For example, disadvantaged families are less likely to engage with activities that are parent-led, whereas their more affluent peers are more likely to choose to do these activities.

Q2 – What can we learn from the comments left by pupils and parents?

Every time a family records a reading entry or activity on our platform, they have the option to leave a comment and can choose whether to allow us to use that comment for research purposes. We have a bank of over half a million comments that we would love to be able to analyse in a meaningful way, to gain insights into how families found our activities as a whole. 

The volunteers used Natural Language Programming (NLP) to gauge the sentiment of parent and child comments. From the sentiments they made a dashboard for our content team to easily see a summary of feedback across particular activities. For example, we found that some of our fractions activities had more negative feedback and featured sentiments such as “difficult” and “dad” more heavily.

Q3 – What features are driving engagement for our Maths and English activities?

We wanted to know whether there were certain markers outside of the activity categories that make families more likely to engage in our Maths and English activities. Particularly, is a family that uses our digital reading log more likely to engage in Maths and English activities?

We found that using the digital reading log significantly increases a family’s engagement with the Maths and English topics. It was amazing to see this in graphs and charts and it backs up what schools have already been telling us throughout the year!

Q4 – What features are driving engagement for our digital reading log?

Similar to question 3, are there certain markers that make families more likely to log reading? For example, how does the reading target affect whether the target is reached, or whether reading is logged at all in a week?

We found that the disadvantaged families using our digital reading log are more likely to keep logging reading with their child when a lower weekly reading target is set.  

We look forward to sharing these insights with schools. A big thank you again to the DataKind team for these findings and for hosting such a rewarding weekend!


Optional Additional

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We know that supporting children’s learning at home is not always easy for families and we are currently working with your child’s school to gather insights into the barriers parents face to engaging in their child’s learning. These insights will help us develop our programme so that we can support all parents.

We are running parent voice workshops to gather feedback from parents and carers. The insights provided will be used by Learning with Parents to make improvements to our platform and shared with other organisations working in education to strengthen practices. A publication written based on the insights from these discussions will be available on the Learning with Parents website.

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Terms and Conditions


(1) LEARNING WITH PARENTS a registered charity (CIO) in England and Wales with charity number 1189812 whose registered office is Newminster House, Bristol, BS1 1LT (Company);

(2) Your school or setting (School);


(A) The Company has developed a programme to motivate and empower parents to engage in their child’s learning.

(B) The School wishes to use the Company’s programme to help their children and families.

(C) The Company has agreed to grant access to sections of its website to the relevant school staff and families.

(D) The Company has agreed to provide and the School has agreed to pay for access to the Company’s website on the terms and conditions of this Agreement.


1. Definitions

The definitions and rules of interpretation in this clause apply in this Agreement:

  • “Initial Price” is the price for the Initial Subscription Term. This is calculated by the “Price Calculation”.
  • “Initial Subscription Term” means the initial term which shall begin on the date this contract is entered into and end after one calendar year.
  • “Intellectual Property Rights” means patents, rights to inventions, copyright and related rights, trade marks and service marks, business names and domain names, goodwill and the right to sue for passing off or unfair competition, rights in designs, database rights, rights to use, and protect the confidentiality of, confidential information (including know-how) and all other intellectual property rights, in each case whether registered or unregistered and including all applications and rights to apply for and be granted, renewals or extensions of, and rights to claim priority from, such rights and all similar or equivalent rights or forms of protection which subsist or will subsist now or in the future in any part of the world.
  • “Learning with Parents Package” means a section of the Company’s website personalised for the School that contains the Videos provided by the Company via the Website or any other website notified to the School by the Company from time to time.
  • “Ongoing Price” means the price for the applicable Ongoing Subscription Term calculated by the Company. This will be shared with the school at least 30 days prior to the renewal date. It is dependent on the number of classes whose parents or carers are offered access to the Learning with Parents Package, as reported by the School in accordance with clause 4.5 below.
  • “Ongoing Subscription Term” means the term which shall begin at the end of the previous Subscription Term and last for one year.
  • “Permitted Users” means the School’s current staff, and parents and carers of pupils currently at the School, in each case as at the applicable time of use.
  • “Price” means, in respect of the Initial Subscription Term, the Initial Price or the Ongoing Price, in respect of the applicable Ongoing Subscription Term.
  • “Price Calculation” means the value calculated using the formula agreed upon initial sign-up, or updated upon renewal.
  • “Subscription Term” means the Initial Subscription Term or the Ongoing Subscription Term, as applicable.
  • “Videos” means the videos provided within the Learning with Parents Package which consist of short clips of children explaining school techniques and are supported by related activities that parents can complete with their child.
  • “Website” means mathswithparents.com, learningwithparents.com, learningwithparents.org, englishwithparents.com or any subdomain of those domains, as appropriate.

2. Learning with Parents Package

In consideration of the School paying the applicable Price to the Company (in accordance with clause 5 below) the Company grants the School a nonexclusive, non-transferable, revocable licence to access, and to allow the Permitted Users to access, the Learning with Parents Package during the Subscription Term.

3. Company’s Obligations

Subject to payment by the School of the Price (in accordance with clause 5 below), and compliance by the School with its obligations under clause 4 below, the Company agrees to:

3.1 provide the Learning with Parents Package to the School and use reasonable endeavours to ensure it can be accessed by the Permitted Users at all reasonable times.

3.2 work with the School to support increased parental engagement

4. School’s Obligations

4.1 provide the Company with such information and materials as the Company may reasonably require to supply the Learning with Parents Package and ensure that such information is accurate in all material respects;

4.2 ensure that only the Permitted Users use the Learning with Parents Package and that they do so inaccordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement;

4.3 allow the use of the School’s name and logo on the Company’s website and marketing materials;

4.4 no later than 30 days prior to each Subscription Term, provide an accurate estimate of the number of classes whose parents or carers will be offered access to the Learning with Parents Package.

5. Payment

5.1 The Company shall invoice the School up to 30 days prior to the start of each Subscription Term, or earlier if requested by the School, in respect of the Initial price or Ongoing Price, as applicable.

5.2 The School agrees to pay each invoice submitted by the Company within 30 days of the date of the invoice to the account specified in the invoice.

6. Intellectual Property Rights

6.1 No part of the Website including but not limited to the Learning with Parents Package and Videos may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means to anyone other than the Permitted Users without the prior express written consent of the Company.

6.2 The School acknowledges and agrees that the Company owns all Intellectual Property Rights in the Website, the Learning with Parents Package and the Videos and except as expressly stated herein, this Agreement does not grant the School any rights to or in such Intellectual Property Rights.

6.3 The School shall promptly give notice in writing to the Company in the event that it becomes aware of any infringement of any Intellectual Property Rights owned by the Company.

7. Termination

7.1 Without limiting its other rights or remedies each party may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect by giving written notice to the other party if:

7.1.1 the other party commits a material breach of its obligations under this Agreement and (if such breach is remediable) fails to remedy the breach within 30 days after receipt of notice in writing to do so; or

7.1.2 the other party’s financial position deteriorates to such an extent that its capability to adequately fulfil its obligations under the Agreement has been placed in jeopardy.

7.2 Without limiting its other rights or remedies the Company may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect if the School fails to pay any amount due under this Agreement on the due date for payment.

7.3 If the Agreement is terminated pursuant to this clause 7 during a Subscription Term, there will be no refund to the School of the amount of any Price paid by the School in respect of that Subscription Term.

8. Renewal

At the end of each Subscription Term, this Agreement shall automatically renew for one additional year as an Ongoing Subscription Term unless written notice of non-renewal is provided to the Company by the School at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the then-current Subscription Term.

9. Indemnity

The School shall indemnify the Company for any loss suffered by the Company as a result of the School breaching its obligations under this Agreement.

10. Variation

No variation of this Agreement shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by the parties (or their authorised representatives).

11. Entire Agreement

11.1 This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties and supersedes all previous agreements, arrangements and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter.

11.2 Each party agrees that it shall have no remedies in respect of any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in this Agreement.

11.3 Each party agrees that it shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in this Agreement.

12. Assignments

Neither party shall assign, transfer, subcontract, or deal in any other manner with any or all of its rights and obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the other party.

13. Counterparts

This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which when executed shall constitute a duplicate original, but all the counterparts shall together constitute the one agreement.

14. Third Party Rights

This Agreement does not confer any rights on any person or party other than the parties to this Agreement and where applicable their successors and permitted assigns pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

15. Governing Law

This Agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.

16. Jurisdiction

Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with this Agreement or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims).

The parties acknowledge that they have read and understand this Agreement and voluntarily accept the duties and obligations set forth herein.