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Calls for gifted children to get more support in schools

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Calls for more support for gifted pupils, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have been backed by Potential Plus UK.

Educational charity The Sutton Trust has urged the Government to develop a national programme, with ring-fenced funding, to support highly able state school pupils across the country.

The charity has itself launched a scheme which will see 400 highly able children from non-selective state school take part in two or three year programmes at four leading universities.

It will be paid for by the Wolfson and Sofronie Foundations and Cambridge, Warwick and Nottingham universities and University College London (UCL).

Denise Yates, Potential Plus UK’s chief executive, said: “Potential Plus UK has 47 years’ experience of supporting families from all backgrounds with a gifted child and has seen at first-hand what can happen when these high potential learners are not provided with appropriate opportunities to demonstrate their abilities and to access the support they need to overcome any social-emotional or learning difficulties. 

"Without a proactive programme of intervention many of these children will not maximise their potential and may even fail in our education system.”

She continued: “Potential Plus UK works hard to provide parents, carers and educators with in-depth action plans for their high potential children.

"When the national gifted and talented framework went in 2010 we warned the Government that there would be repercussions in terms of the gap between ability and achievement, particularly for children from low income families.

"Even with our Scholarship Fund and support from some schools through Pupil Premium funding, our assessment service only addresses the tip of the iceberg.

"We applaud The Sutton Trust for joining with us in seeking practical solutions, which ensure that schools and parents work together positively for the benefit of all children with high learning potential, regardless of their background.”

British Mensa works closely with Potential Plus UK, formerly the National Association for Gifted Children, to help children with a highIQ to reach their potential.