Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Education Minister Scuttles Hopes Of Gifted Kids

For Immediate Release

Education Minister Scuttles Hopes Of Gifted Kiwi Kids

The Minister of Education, The Hon Trevor Mallard, today gave the ‘thumbs down’ to a proposal submitted by The Gifted Kids Programme (GKP) for what would have been New Zealand’s first State-funded full time school for gifted and talented students (years 7 -10).

The initiative, says Co Founder of GKP Christine Fernyhough, was submitted under Section 156 of the Education Act 1989.

Despite the Minister acknowledging the intellectual rigour behind their submission, the application was declined because of the apparent ‘tensions’ between the direction of current Government education policy and the opportunity to create a unique educational resource and environment.

“This is devastating news for gifted children and particularly for the parents who supported GKP right from the start and who desired greater choice for their children.

“In essence the Minister argued that policy was directed at supporting gifted students within a regular State-school classroom environment. The GKP Parent Lobby group put forward the proposition that, while in theory this would be an ideal outcome, the practical result was that many gifted children were not having their special learning needs met.

“It is also particularly depressing on the day that a multi-billion dollar Government surplus was announced that the funding we were hoping to secure to help those who will help create our ‘Knowledge Economy’ wasn’t granted,” she said.

According to Christine Fernyhough the experiences that have driven the GKP Parent Lobby group are in fact supported by the Secretary for Education’s observation in the foreword of the Ministry of Education handbook on Gifted and Talented Students published in 2002.

“It is ironic that Secretary Howard Fancy said the purpose of the handbook was in response to a growing awareness that many of our gifted and talented students go unrecognised, and that those who are identified often do not take part in an educational programme appropriate to their needs.

“The Minister’s decision is especially disappointing because it indicates to the GKP parent group that New Zealand is still not ready to look at some of the commonly available overseas educational alternatives appropriate for meeting the special learning needs of gifted and talented students.

“It is certainly a sad day for us but a much sadder one for New Zealand,” she said.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland