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Working Party On Gifted Children

15 May 2001

The Government has established a Working Party on Gifted Education.

The eight person working party will be chaired by Roger Moltzen, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Waikato, and former teacher.

Trevor Mallard made the announcement at the Auckland launch of the Gifted Kids Programme - an initiative designed to provide extra opportunities for gifted children outside their normal classroom. The Gifted Kids' Programme principal, Julie Mills, is one of the working party members.

"The establishment of a working party is an important step toward getting a framework to meet the needs of gifted children throughout New Zealand.

"I have asked the group to provide me with an initial report by the end of November suggesting a policy and funding framework for gifted education in New Zealand.

"It is a big ask, but we need to get progress on an issue that people have been gingerly stepping around for many years.

"Work has been going on in the area of gifted education including the publication of a handbook to help schools with programmes to meet the needs of gifted children and on-line materials and resources on gifted education on Te Kete Ipurangi, the online resource centre. Professional development programmes and individual support are also available to help teachers use the handbook and resources.

"But while progress is being made there is still a need for an overarching look at how we cater for the needs of gifted children. The working party has two key challenges. The first is to work out to what degree the needs of gifted students can be met in the regular classroom and how much of their education needs to be carried out in enrichment or acceleration settings. The second, is to work out a coherent policy and funding framework for gifted education in New Zealand," Trevor Mallard said.

Working Party on Gifted Education

Roger Moltzen (chair)
Roger is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Waikato, and is a former teacher and principal. He has been a member of the Ministry of Education Advisory Group on Gifted Education, and was one of the writers of the 2000 Ministry of Education publication Gifted and Talented Students: Meeting their Needs in New Zealand Schools.

Dr Catherine Rawlinson
Catherine is a Senior Lecturer at the Auckland College of Education. She has an interest in programmes to support children with special abilities and in 1998 completed her PhD in this area, focusing particularly on self-concept and giftedness in Pacific students.

Lyn Atkinson
Lyn is Principal at Ilam School in Christchurch, which has been a New Zealand leader in its provision for gifted and talented students.

Lynne Couling-Brown
Lynne is the teacher with responsibility for special needs at Okaihau College in the Far North, and has been undertaking action research in gifted and talented education.

Rosemary Cathcart
Rosemary is the Director of the George Parkyn Centre Charitable Trust for Gifted Education. The Centre operates several one-day schools in Auckland, and has contributed to teaching and research in this area. Rosemary is also education adviser to the New Zealand Associations for Gifted Children.

Julie Mills
Julie is Principal of the Gifted Kids programme, a one day school for gifted students from the mainly low-decile schools in the Tamaki area of Auckland.

Shirley Taylor
Shirley is currently an adviser with responsibility for gifted education in the broader Wellington region and a psychologist with Special Education Services. Shirley was the first adviser on children with special abilities in New Zealand, establishing the Brentwood Enrichment Centre for Education Boards to offer advice primarily for teachers in the greater Wellington area, as well as throughout New Zealand.

Nikki Fraser
Nikki is currently a teacher at Dyer Street School in Lower Hutt, but is representing the parent perspective on the working party. She has served on the National Council of the New Zealand Associations of Gifted Children, and contributed the section on parenting to McAlpine and Moltzen (eds) Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives.

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