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124: Classroom Changemakers with Theo Knott

Theo manages the fairer strand of Nesta’s Education work which looks at how we can enable women, minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to education and careers in technology and innovation.

Theo is especially passionate about equality of opportunities and how we can give everyone the chance to reach their goals and potential irrespective of their upbringing.

There is broad consensus that skills such as creativity and problem-solving will be vital in ensuring young people from all backgrounds are well-prepared for life and work in the 21st century. At Nesta we’re launching Classroom Changemakers, an award programme to unearth, celebrate and share great ideas from teachers and teaching assistants which aim to give young people the opportunity to be creative and solve problems in maths and computer science. We will award 15 teachers, or teaching assistants, £5,000 each to their school or college to celebrate their work.

Through these awards Nesta aims to:

  • Reward and celebrate the great work of teachers and teaching assistants.
  • Better understand how teachers and teaching assistants are giving young people the opportunity to be creative and solve problems in maths and computer science.
  • Share this understanding and the bright ideas unearthed by the awards with other educators.

We are looking to award teachers and teaching assistants who have developed and tried out an idea in their classroom which aims to give young people the opportunity to be creative and/or solve problems in maths or computer science.


  • Complete the short online application form by 2 March 2020. The application form involves three questions and will take up to 30 minutes.
  • If shortlisted complete a 30 minute call with Nesta between 9-13 March.
  • W/C 16 March 2020: shortlisted applicants informed of the final decision
  • 24 April 2020: celebration event in London.
  • If selected as a winner take part in a case study phone interview with Nesta on your idea late March/early April
  • We estimate that the total time commitment is 1.5 days.
  • Nesta will reimburse reasonable travel and supply cover costs for participants to attend the final event.

Show Sponsor 

The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. This includes parents, teachers, governors and all those interested in primary education. NAPE is a non-political charity and works tirelessly to support teachers in the classroom as expressed in their ‘Value of Membership’ Document. NAPE leads the Primary Umbrella Group of thirty primary subject associations and unions and gives teachers and schools a voice at governmental level at consultative meetings with ministers for schools.

For full details of how they can support you please visit their website at

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