GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN-A RAW DEAL?

GIFTED   AND TALENTED CHILDREN

A raw deal

Comment

The previous government, having made support for Gifted and Talented (G and T) pupils a priority decided, towards the end of its term to ‘ mainstream’ support. In other words it  is largely left  up to schools now to fund G and T support   from their central pots , despite the fact that  rather a lot of schools historically  haven’t  regarded support, or indeed identification, of gifted children as much of a priority.  As the developing world begins to take support for gifted students seriously   and to  understand its importance ,not just for the individuals concerned but for their economies, we seem to be taking an opposite trajectory.

However, for this year at least, there is  still  around £9m specialist  funding support available  for  gifted pupils, which may sound a lot, but is spread very thin.  Other support comes through The Dedicated Support Grant (DSG) which the Government points out ‘supports a universal offer of personalised education to all pupils, including gifted and talented (G&T) pupils.’  But we know that the quality of support offered between schools varies, even within  the same local authority. During the current financial year 2010-11 the various other support schemes include:

A strand of the PE and Sport Strategy for Young People, managed by Youth Sport Trust (£2.3m)

Regional Partnerships, to facilitate collaboration between schools, local authorities and higher education institutions (HEIs) to share good practice and deliver out-of-school enrichment opportunities (e.g. summer schools)        (£1.7m)

National Association for Gifted Children, to provide support and guidance for the parents of G&T pupils          (£170,00)

G&T network of high performing specialist schools with good G&T practices, providing support to other schools, managed by specialist schools and academies trust (£210,00)

Teach First advocates providing mentoring to over 250 disadvantaged learners in City Challenge areas (£412,000)

Funding to local authorities for gifted pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds in receipt of free school meals (including City GATES funding and Targeted Support) ( £4.0m)

Are we confident,  particularly in these straitened times,  that our most Gifted children will  receive the support in schools that they deserve  to fulfil their potential? Or do  our policymakers (which seems more likely) think its up to the parents to  fill the gaps and provide  the necessary support and, if so, what about gifted children  in our  most disadvantaged communities?

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2 thoughts on “GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN-A RAW DEAL?

  1. It is essential that politicians and policy makers be educated concerning the needs of gt students. They must also be made aware of the strides being made in developing countries and of high scoring countries on international assessments such as PISA. In the 21st century, intellectual prowess and critical thinking skills seen as commodities will have the greatest return on investment.

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