STATE schools could learn from the independent sector how to teach able and gifted children, Estelle Morris, the standards minister, told independent headteachers on Monday.
"I think many gifted children have been let down by the maintained sector in recent years," she told the annual conference of the society of Heads of Independent Schools near Chester.
Ms Morris promised that the forthcoming revisions to the national curriculum would not diminish the role of the arts.
She said: "We should be doing children a disservice if they all reached level 4 but had no access to art or music or drama. It's not eitheror - one strengthens the other."