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Gaps in education for gifted – report finds

For Immediate Release

New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education Media Release

6 June 2014

Gaps in education for gifted – report finds

An independent scoping report commissioned by Gifted Kids, now New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, found gaps in service delivery for gifted children in New Zealand’s schools. Chief Executive Officer, Deb Clark hopes the report prompts government to revisit their policy regarding the support of gifted children.

“Gifted children are under-served, under-recognised, and set up to underachieve in a system that focuses heavily on lifting the tail. Schooling is the only time in our lives that we put a huge focus on our weaknesses, and while it’s important that we encourage competency in those areas, it often comes with neglecting areas of strength and passion especially for our gifted and talented students,” Clark says.

The report completed by independent consultants, MartinJenkins, identified three areas that support a case to invest in Gifted Education: the delivery gap, the excellence gap, and economic growth.

• The delivery gap: gifted and talented students have specific learning needs which are not being met in our current school system, which can result in higher failure rates and/or underachievement.

• The excellence gap: giftedness does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic background, but lack of resourcing and opportunities exacerbates underachievement in lower socioeconomic areas.

• Economic growth: higher levels of education and intellectual ability are positively correlated to economic performance.

The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education is seeking funding to support continued research in this area, which will involve collecting data on gifted and talented students in New Zealand at a more in-depth level than has been done in the past.

“This is only the beginning stages and we’re definitely looking for support to continue research around our gifted students, but also in fully identifying and catering to the needs of these learners. An investment in gifted education can mean the difference between outstanding success and lost talent.” Clark continues.

“There is very little research completed in this area in New Zealand, though I know from experience, that the MartinJenkins findings are nothing new, we can see this in action every day in our classrooms, and yet we still don’t recognise our gifted children as priority learners too. I believe it’s time for the government to step up and let these children engage in learning, progressing and achieving in the same way we would want for any other child, ” Clark ends.

The MartinJenkins report is available for distribution by contacting


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