Funds cut for gifted children

23:03, Jun 12 2009

New Zealand's gifted and talented children may no longer get the special learning help they need because of funding cuts announced in the Budget.

Schools will have to find funds to support the high-achieving group as funding for professional development delivered by gifted and talented education advisers has been chopped.

Ten schools in Manawatu are getting help from advisers and 15 took advice last year.

Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School principal David Jopson is worried about the future of the region's talented and gifted children.

"Support for this group should be on the increase not the decrease."

Chairwoman of giftEDnz, the professional association for Gifted Education, Tracey Riley said many students were at risk of an inappropriate, unresponsive education because their teachers would not receive ongoing professional development and support.


A 2008 Education Review Office report on gifted and talented education showed the majority of schools had not participated in appropriate professional development and, as a result, were not catering effectively for these students.

"It is harmful and incorrect to assume gifted and talented students will make it on their own.

"It is equally wrong to believe that teachers, with little or no specific professional development in this specialist field, can effectively adapt the curriculum."

Gifted children often endured daily boredom and emotional stress when placed in a class where there was no support for their special needs, she said.

Manawatu Standard