Beware a talent for revenge

9th April 2004 at 01:00
It is official. Teenagers are only allowed to be gifted or talented for a maximum of three weeks. After that they are packed off home with little prospect of returning.

Of course the summer schools run by the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth are not the only project aimed at challenging the UK's students. But this is a scheme which ministers have praised for stretching bright pupils from all backgrounds. It seems a shame then that the only teenagers who can take part more than once are those whose parents can stump up pound;640 in fees.

There is also a danger of angering the gifted pupils. They have risked cruel nicknames from their classmates to attend the courses, have discovered a place where they can make like-minded friends, then seen the doors slammed shut when their three weeks are up. The academy and ministers should tread carefully: nerds have a penchant for revenge and the geeks shall inherit the earth.

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