Gifted children drive gears up

9th July 1999 at 01:00
NO schools will be allowed to avoid a Government drive to help gifted children, school standards minister Estelle Morris told MPs.

Appearing before the House of Commons Select Committee for Education and Employment, Ms Morris condemned "dire" exam results in many inner city schools and called for a culture change among teachers.

"We have given a very, very clear message to all teachers, no matter which school they teach in, that there is not enough work being done with gifted and talented children. Every school in this country has gifted and talented children not just schools in some areas. The minute you allow a school a cop-out, the danger is that the school will say we don't have gifted and talented children."

Responding to a report by the select committee on gifted children in April, Ms Morris announced 34 summer schools targeted at talented children, on subjects including Japanese, TV broadcasting and website design, and a pound;23,000 grant to the National Association for Gifted Children to pilot a mediation service for parents of able children and their schools.

These were only the first steps in the biggest drive to support able children that has ever been launched by a government, Ms Morris said. Schools taking part in the pound;45 million Excellence in Cities scheme were being asked to appoint co-ordinators for talented children and this would be a pilot for the introduction of similar co-ordinators in all schools.

The Government would also like schools to consider fast tracking for able pupils. Too often, she said, teachers made the excuse that fast tracking, for instance by moving pupils into higher aged classes, harmed their social skills, without considering the alienation caused by unchallenging classwork.

Ms Morris said the Government was also looking at teacher training and, although funding for training gifted pupil co-ordinators would be given only to Excellence in Cities schools from September, pledged that funds would be available to other schools in future.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now