World of the gifted is truly amazing

26th January 2007 at 00:00
I am a 14-year old state-school pupil and I was horrified by your article about the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (TES, January 12).

I have been an academy member for two years. You describe it as "an utter disaster". Far from it. I believe any academy member would agree it is a huge success, offering provision for gifted pupils who are often discriminated against at school.

I have been to two university summer schools - in history and maths. I enjoyed every minute and look forward to going again this year. Summer schools are life-changing and no gifted pupil should be deprived of this experience. They offer a chance to meet with like-minded students from across the UK, and to stay away from home for two or three weeks. You can develop socially and academically, and there is a sense of companionship, of knowing there are others who have suffered bullying or other discrimination. In short, summer schools are an amazing experience.

Schools cannot be relied upon to offer lessons for the gifted. Of nine teachers timetabled to teach sessions at my school, only one did this well.

With the remaining eight, it was clear that no preparation had gone into these. Some failed to turn up, made excuses or delegated responsibility to colleagues at the last minute.

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