Scheme for gifted pupils 'is a failure'
A flagship scheme was accused of failing the brightest schoolchildren, with one in seven pupils marked as gifted and talented failingto get five good GCSEs. Official figures show that 11,628 pupils on the scheme did not achieve the government benchmark of five A* to C grades, including maths and English.
The scheme is designed to give the most gifted and talented 10 per cent of youngsters in every school the chance to boost knowledge by special courses. Many go to the gifted and talented centre at Warwick University for coaching. But Michael Gove, the Conservatives' education spokesman who unearthed the figures through a parliamentary question, said: "When so many gifted and talented children fail to get five good GCSEs there's clearly a problem. The Government's scheme is supposed to identify the brightest and the best."
He added that the Government had "failed on the most basic level to ensure teaching by ability".
Supporters of the gifted and talented programme say schools do not always pick their best achievers to go on the scheme but sometimes choose youngsters whose teachers believe they have potential but are just not showing it in class.
Sometimes, they argue, even the atmosphere of a more taxing educational programme fails to inspire these youngsters to achieve. In addition, the Government says, about half those selected for the programme have an aptitude for sport, the arts or music, rather than general academic ability.
The Government's own guidance for selecting pupils for the programme says performance in key stage two – the national curriculum tests for 11-year-olds – is the best indicator of whether a pupil is suitable.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "About 48 per cent of children nationally gain five good GCSEs, including English and maths, and about 86 per cent of children on the gifted and talented scheme achieved the benchmark That is an achievment."
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...
£110 - £145 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are rec...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 3 primary supply teacher ne...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Qualified Teachers needed for Supply in t...