Master class funds for gifted children

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The Independent Online

Disruptive primary school pupils will be sent to "learning support units" and gifted pupils will be offered master classes as part of a £60m package aimed at inner city areas.

David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education, will tell the Commons today that the money, part of the £1bn extra for education in the Budget, will extend to primary pupils the Excellence in Cities scheme that presently covers secondary schools in six cities.

The programme will provide learning support in units outside the classroom for disruptive pupils. Two hundred, set up in response to teachers' complaints about disruptive behaviour, already exist for secondary school pupils.

Primary schools in the London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds areas will also benefit from master classes currently offered to about 40,000 gifted secondary school pupils in, for example, music and sports.

The scheme, which government sources report as very popular, will also be extended to cover inner schools in areas including Tyne and Wear, Bristol and Nottingham.

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