Gifted pupils can end up lonely

9th June 2000 at 01:00
MINISTERS were warned this week by one of their senior advisers of the dangers of "hot-housing" bright children through school.

Lord Puttnam, chair of the General Teaching Council, told a conference that gifted children taught with older pupils could end up socially isolated. "It seems to me utterly self-defeating to simply transfer gifted children to classes of older pupils without being sure that we can also provide a rounded social environment."

Lord Puttnam, who is also chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, said there were dangers in sending young prodigies to university. Anyone attending Oxbridge at 12 was unlikely to emerge a rounded confident individual, he said.

Further criticism of ministers' strategy for gifted children came from Deborah Eyre, head of the Research Centre for Able Pupils at Oxford Brookes University.

She said there was no evidence that summer schools had any long-term impact on children. The Government is funding summer schools this year as part of its plan to encourage children from disadvantaged areas to go to university.

Sir David Winkley, another government adviser and a former primary head, pointed out that primaries faced a particular problem. He said schools were already teaching a crowded curriculum and were up against league tables.

Geraldine Hackett

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


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