School boy Roderick Eneh, from Canning Town in London, has just become the 30,000th member of The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, based at the University of Warwick. This is a significant achievement for Roderick but also a massively significant achievement for the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth which was only expected to have recruited 7000 members by the end of this academic year.
The Academy’s original target was to recruit just 7000 young people by the end of this academic year and just 20,000 by the summer of 2006 and Roderick is by no means the last student to join the Academy by the end of this academic year. Academy membership is now predicted to be around 32,000 by the time schools close their doors for the summer.
Fourteen year old Roderick from Canning Town in London attends St Bonaventure's school in Forest gate in London. His favourite academic subject are mathematics and science. His favourite sport is (surprise surprise.. ) football – he supports Manchester United and his hero is Manchester United’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard.
The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, based at the University of Warwick, has been established by the government to develop, implement, promote and support educational opportunities for gifted and talented children and young people aged up to 19, as well as providing support for parents and educators. It will also provide a nationally and internationally recognised centre of expertise from which to develop and help improve the delivery of gifted and talented education in England.
This year the Academy ran over 150 one day and weekend outreach events for its members across England. It also established its first two online academic study groups (mathematics and classics) and later this month the first of its residential summer schools will commence which will be attended by 1050 young people.
The unexpected but welcome boom in membership applications means that that the Academy will among other things - aim to produce a 5 fold increase in its outreach events, and launch more online study groups etc.
National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth Director Professor Deborah Eyre said:
“We are delighted in this spectacular interest in the Academy – the creation of the Academy gave us for the first time ever a national programme to help and support our most gifted young people and scale of the response by teachers, parents and gifted young people”