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Calls for Government to take action for Gifted Learners

12 June 2014

Position Statement calls for Government to take action for Gifted Learners

The Professional Association for Gifted Education (giftEDnz), New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC) and New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education are calling for Government and Ministry of Education to formally recognise gifted and talented students as priority learners with special education needs.

“This statement provides a timely reminder that when considering priority learners we must include gifted and talented students. Gifted and Talented students have specific learning needs that are often not met in the classroom and the Government and Ministry of Education is currently not doing enough to support them” Says giftEDnz Chair, Tracy Riley.

The position statement comes prior to Gifted Awareness Week which starts this Sunday, June 15. NZAGC, giftEDnz, and the Centre are working together to promote the week with a theme centred on gifted children as priority learners.

“During Gifted Awareness week our organisations are working closely together to advocate for the needs of gifted and talented students, but also sharing with the community what it means to be gifted. It is always exciting seeing first-hand what gifted and talented students are capable of, but being gifted also comes with its challenges and these challenges ned to be better supported in our learning environments”, Says Deb Clark, CEO, New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

Key points from the position statement have a call to action for Government and Ministry of Education, including;

• Formal recognition of gifted and talented students as priority learners with special educational needs
• Formal inclusion in Ministry of Education Special and Inclusive Education, with funding, services, and support for children with special education needs
• Increase in funding to identify and provisions for gifted and talented students
• Board of Trustees reminded about responsibilities under the National Administration Guidelines in regards to gifted and talented learners

In addition, the organisations call upon the Education Review Office to report on schools’ compliance with National Administration Guidelines by way of national review of gifted and talented education.

“A national review of gifted and talented education will help with a targeted and strategic approach long-term for funding and resources. The gifts and talents of our children are far too important to ignore, all children need the right support to succeed and currently the education system is failing them”, says Rose Blackett, NZAGC President.

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