last June show that disadvantaged children who start out as high-attainers are often overtaken by average children from better-off families.
So it seems legitimate to ask: do Gamp;T programmes play a part in worsening social inequality?
Graft and tenacity
Many schools are now eschewing Gamp;T programmes and attempting to create a culture of excellence for all. Pete Jones, director of learning at Les Quennevais School in Jersey, spurns outdated notions of what a gifted programme should look like. "I would much prefer the Gamp;T label to stand for something we can all believe in, like graft and tenacity," he says. "We should focus our finite resources on teaching all students how to put in the hours of practice to become great at something, with the tenacity to keep going no matter how hard the challenge."
We should rightly question the impact on the 90 per cent of students who are not selected. The message that they have no "talent" is implicit and subtly corrosive for a school's culture.
The "Pygmalion effect" - where higher expectations lead to better performance - means that Gamp;T programmes become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The students who are selected early on invariably never leave. Positive expectations are heaped on them and the results follow. The rest? Well, they didn't make the list: sky-high results are seemingly beyond them.
Gamp;T programmes have the potential to damage the students who aren't selected, then. But what are the benefits for those who make the cut? Beyond some pleased parents, there is little evidence for the validity of such programmes. They are often bolt-on initiatives, whereas expert subject-specific teaching in the classroom has been proven to improve academic attainment. We should question the energy and money channelled into Gamp;T programmes when they show no sign of having a positive impact on attainment.
The Ofsted report mentioned above lists the characteristics of schools that serve their able students well: having high expectations; effective transition between primary and secondary; a flexible curriculum; groupings that stretch and challenge students; and, of course, expert teaching. We should therefore target our money and time at boosting aspiration by ensuring that we have a great teacher in every classroom.
The bureaucratic lists of Gamp;T programmes should be consigned to the past and we should seek to unleash excellence in every lesson. I want my daughter to have the expectation that she can do anything. I want her to know that she doesn't need to make it on to a flawed list in order to use her efforts and abilities to wrest every success from life.
Alex Quigley is director of learning and research at Huntington School in York and tweets at @HuntingEnglish