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Student Support Question 2: High Attainers

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Qs: My child is a high subject(s) attainer.  How can I get the extra support?

Selection of Gift Boxes

History of High Attainers and Education

From my research the history of introducing gifted and talented (G&T) into mainstream UK schools is a fairly new idea even though provision for gifted and talented children in USA has been looked at as early as 1920s.  The National Association of Gifted Children points out that from research conducted in the 1920s and 1930s, it became clear that "graded schools could not adequately meet the needs of all children" in USA [1].  Out of this research movements to support high attainers was spearheaded by pioneers such as "Lewis Terman and Leta Hollingworth" [1].

In the UK, "a brief summary of the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategies (1997-2011)" report indicates that prior to the Labour government there was no clear provision by local authorities for gifted and talented pupils [2].  It states that support for gifted and talented was "often seen as an "add on" or "optional extra" with provision through extra-curricular activities, no classroom focussed provision and pupils develop potential was stunted though there were G&T coordinators in place in many schools [2].  The report continues by saying that in 2007 61% of primary schools and 90% of secondary schools identified G&T pupils [2].  It says in 2007, 5% of primary pupils and 6.8% of secondary pupils entitled to free school meals were identified as G&T pupils.  

Under the Labour government, in 2007, the National Strategies introduced key programmes for teachers and leaders to support gifted and talented pupils (p.32) [2].  By 2010, the report states that training and standards were being provided to schools for G&T pupils in mainstream and whole-school environments [2].  Furthermore the Labour government introduced "Excellent for All" materials to support G&T pupils [2] [3].  The above report is obviously biased towards Labour and claims that G&T pupils benefited from these changes.

In 2010 Janet Murray for the Guardian reported that the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth was to be scrapped when the Conservatives came into power [4].  The arguments for this included that Gifted and Talented programmes were creating elitism rather than establishing inclusivity within the classroom [4].  Recently, there has been a push for equal opportunities in school over elitist practices although many schools still have policies in place for more able students.

Support for Students

  1. Contact your child's teacher and school
  2. Explore setting own homework
  3. Tutoring (contact RK Tutors for further support)
  4. Contact local universities to see what they offer
  5. Read around the subject
  6. Search the web
  7. Contact support groups and extra-curricular organisations
  8. Out of school clubs and in-school clubs
  9. Self-study
  10. Computer games

  1. NAGC (date unknown).  A Brief History of Gifted and Talented Education.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from
  2. Department of Education (2011).  The National Strategies 1997-2011 : A brief summary of the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategies.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from
  3. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2009).  Excellence for All : A gifted and talented approach to school improvement.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from
  4. Murray, J. (2010, 2nd Feb.).  Farwell to the gifted and talented scheme.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from


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