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£650,000 Funding For Massive Focus on Less Privileged Gifted Kids

Originally published 16 July 2004

The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Warwick has been awarded £650,000 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to create a massive focus on less privileged and under-represented groups within the 200,000 gifted young people that make up England’s top 5% by ability and potential.

NAGTY will use the Aim Higher funding to create the Higher Educational Gateway for Gifted and Talented (HE GfGT). This will be a network of leading universities who will work with NAGTY to provide high quality learning opportunities for gifted students aged 14-19. The aim is to raise expectations among under-represented groups from England’s top 5% of gifted young people. It will give them an opportunity to work alongside students of high ability & high aspirations so that they can see that high achievement is attainable, and to be supported in an on-going way rather than experiencing a single educational “event”. The key programmes and activities that the Gateway will deliver are:

  • Up to 5,000 places on national outreach events providing a range of academic and talent-focused activities.
  • Up to 5,000 places on online academic study groups which would each run for one year within the funding period.
  • An online forum hosted by NAGTY and open to staff from Universities and colleges that are actively participating in the gateway. This will help develop the teaching of such gifted and talented students and provide a mechanism for quick dissemination from the programmes of activities that are being offered.
  • Six regional parents’/carers’ showcases to highlight the work that has been undertaken by young people through the HE GfGT and to provide access to information about higher education opportunities.
  • Two dissemination conferences to be opened to schools, LEAS and other partners to share examples of best practice that has been developed within the programme.
  • A Quality Framework for HEIs working with gifted and talented young people that can be used to inform and badge the development of each HEI’s future outreach activities.
  • An easy to use web site with clear information on the national level opportunities provided by Universities and colleges for gifted and talented young people.

NAGTY will host a conference to launch the HE GfGT in November 2004. All the activities outlined above would be offered alongside those planned for and resourced within NAGTY’s existing activity plans. The gifted school pupils that will benefit do not have to be NAGTY members but will need to be in the top 5% of the national cohort based on ability and potential.

Note for editors:
The bid was endorsed by the Sutton Trust, the Russell Group, Aim Higher Coventry & Warwickshire, and Caterpillar Inc (Caterpillar sponsor a number of less privileged students to attend NAGTY summer schools).