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The way forward for gifted and talented students

11 December 2001
Media Statement

New report shows the way forward for gifted and talented students

A report released today will benefit the Government’s work in designing an education system better able to meet the needs of a diverse range of students, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said.

The report says gifted and talented students need to be clearly identified as a group who require specific provision, with learning and teaching strategies to meet their needs.

The Working Party, which compiled the report, was set up to give advice on a new policy framework for the education of gifted and talented students in early childhood and compulsory education.

Roger Moltzen, senior lecturer and Director of Special Education programmes at the University of Waikato, chaired the group.

“It is acknowledged that giftedness and talent can mean different things to different communities and cultures in New Zealand. It is also acknowledged that there is a range of appropriate approaches towards meeting the needs of these children,” Trevor Mallard said.

The Working Party’s recommendations identify areas of specific need and outline steps to address them.

These included ensuring that schools incorporate meeting the needs of students with exceptional abilities in their planning and reporting, the use of ICT initiatives as a vehicle to enhance and promote their learning opportunities and the provision of additional professional development support for teachers.

The Working Party has asked to continue its work next year to ensure that those groups are well-served.

“While the Working Party acknowledged the role of specialist providers, its recommendations strongly supported the role of mainstream schools and teachers in providing for this group of students,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Gifted and talented students are likely to be New Zealand’s future leaders and innovators and they are people who will contribute strongly to our social and intellectual capital.”

ENDS

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