Posted by: waikatogifted | June 16, 2009

Writing to Parliament

One of the things we are encouraged to do for Gifted Awareness Week, is to write to our local Members of Parliament.  So what does one say?

The mismatch between the provisions of the latest parliamentary budget and last year’s ERO report on giftedness seems like a good place to start.

In looking at whether schools had “a school-wide shared understanding about gifted and talented education”, the ERO review team only found substantial or convincing evidence of this in 35% of schools. 65% of schools then, didn’t really have a shared understanding of the needs they must now try to meet for our gifted children.

ERO had identified a training need for teachers. This was not too surprising. The law change requiring schools to cater specifically for gifted and talented students is recent. Professional development was becoming available and beginning to equip schools with the skills to follow the new rules, but it was very much a work in progress.

Sadly, though, the latest Parliamentary budget has reduced funding for teacher professional development in the area of giftedness. Questions were asked in Parliament today about “a 100 percent cut to the teacher professional development budget for gifted and talented students“. We should be asking those questions, too.  Ask your MP today!

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