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Ministry Recognition for Gifted Learners

The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education is excited by the possibilities that are brought about by the Ministry of Education’s financial commitment to their work with gifted learners.

The Honourable Tracey Martin, Associate Minister for Education, has today announced a package of supports for gifted learners, including support for the NZ Centre for Gifted Education MindPlus one-day school and Gifted Online programmes.

Minister Martin has been a long-standing advocate for children with additional learning needs and recognises that many gifted children have academic, social and emotional needs that cannot always be met in a mainstream classroom. Along with other Ministry officials, Minister Martin has visited programmes and events run by the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education and experienced first-hand the essential service that the Centre provides to gifted young people.

Up until now, the Centre has been funded through community grants and donations, parent and school contributions, and a small income stream from their Consultancy arm. This new support from the Ministry of Education will provide much needed financial stability to maintain current services as well as the opportunity to grow. “Ultimately we want our programmes to be accessible to more children and also to be open to increased interest from additional communities,” says Deb Walker, CEO for the Centre for Gifted Education. “We are now in a position to follow some of these leads and provide essential support to more gifted young people, their families and teachers.”

Support for the Centre is one of a number of recent commitments to gifted education in New Zealand. The current focus on gifted education at the Ministry demonstrates a heightened awareness of the need for investment in this area, in particular through initiatives that are of direct benefit to the gifted learner. A range of events, opportunities and experiences are in the pipeline and will strengthen programmes already offered by schools. “Being included in this support package,’ states Walker, “acknowledges the experience and expertise of the team at the Centre and the value of MindPlus for gifted learners.”

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