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`So much wrong with academy'

WARNINGS were this week issued that the new Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth could have a destructive effect on children and cause parents to waste money on "buying dreams".

Tony Gardiner, past president of the Mathematical Association, has worked with psychologists studying "acceleration" - where children are encouraged to take exams young. He said many "gifted" children were ordinary youngsters subjected to academic force-feeding by parents."There is so much wrong with this academy I don't know where to start. These pupils may have some natural talents but on the whole are just normal children pushed by parents."

He added.that there were numerous cases where children became unable to cope with the pressure.

Last week an eight-year-old "child genius" was taken into foster care in the US after attempting suicide. His mother has been accused of neglecting her son's real needs to exploit his abilities.

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