Gifted Phoenix Twitter Round-Up: Volume Five


Here is the fifth in my series of approximately monthly round-ups of @GiftedPhoenix Twitter activity related to gifted education and associated subjects.

It covers the period from 22 February to 11 March inclusive.

I’m continuing to try out different approaches to these posts. On this occasion I’ve maintained comprehensive coverage, but I’ve changed the top-level categorisation to: :

  • Gifted Education, with sub-sections for Global, UK and each of the five continents
  • Related Educational Issues, with several different sub-sections. This is almost exclusively about developments in England
  • Research and Opinion, which covers blog posts and research reports that aren’t more appropriately placed in other categories.

Once again I have only included tweets that contain a hyperlink to another source. (I have only checked a small sample of these, so apologies if you encounter any broken links.)

The vast majority are my own tweets; a handful are modified tweets or retweets of originals sent by others. I have stripped out addresses and hashtags except where they are essential to make sense of the tweet.

I have also corrected a few typos – otherwise the wording is unchanged.

If you have any suggestions about how I can further improve the presentation of these records of Gifted Phoenix Twitter activity, don’t hesitate to offer them via the comments facility below.

Gifted Education


Twice-Exceptional Newsletter 8 March:

Here’s the latest Talent Talks newsletter from IRATDE:


Blurring school/HE boundaries: 6th form colleges run their own HE courses:  Could be good for gifted learners

Youth Sports Trust has ditched gifted and talented branding for ‘Sporting Best’: – for better or worse?

The GTVoice Board was really pleased at the continuing growth in membership, but more members are always welcome:

The GTVoice Board is most grateful to the Mensa Foundation for Gifted Children for their support:

The GTVoice Board agreed to invite responses from key stakeholders to their first policy statement:

GTVoice presents the latest edition of its monthly Newsletter:

HMCI: ‘It is a scandal that children who should be getting A*s and As are not’ (Q89, uncorrected evidence):

How a good school, offering flexible provision, can be the best place for a highly gifted learner:

The East Midlands Excellence Hub is still in operation however:

Bath and North East Somerset axes APEX gifted programme to save money – devolves responsibility to schools:

CYPN coverage of new NAGC report on High Learning Potential in the Youth Justice System:

Direct link to new UK NAGC Report: High Learning Potential in the Youth Justice System:

See  – EE was originally one of nine funded regional partnerships for gifted education

‘Our intention is that no talented young person…should be unable to realise their full creative potential’  (Col 26WS)

Camden’s Partnership for Educational Excellence will include a focus on gifted learners:

More on Barry Hymer’s appointment as a Professor at Cumbria University:

Books High Achieving Kids Read Most Often (from the 2012 What Kids are Reading Report):


Rural Ugandan gifted students gain scholarships from Nile Breweries

More evidence of the questionable activities of African Council for Gifted and Talented, affiliated to World Council:

And African Council is  still a WCGTC affiliate:   – I’d love to know what ‘due diligence’ they’ve undertaken!


The Spring 2012 Newsletter from William and Mary’s CFGE –

The Director of Child Psychology at a Mexican gifted education centre is a gifted 17 year-old:

Lack of funding leaves New Jersey’s gifted and talented students at mercy of their schools –

Continuing under-representation of Black/Hispanic students in US gifted programmes says Federal survey:

The US practice of ‘redshirting’ to combat disadvantages of being summer-born:  proving controversial in gifted circles

Should the progress of (US) gifted kids be tracked?  Absolutely!

Can DC handle gifted education?

Maryland proposes rules designed to secure greater consistency in districts’ gifted programmes:

Johns Hopkins University’s CTY Programs Grade by Grade:

Gifted jobs: SMU needs an Assistant Clinical Professor, Gifted and Talented Education:

Parenting Gifted Children: A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Support


The Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister visits the Murager School for gifted children in the Karaganda region:

Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education to launch six early primary pilots this year:

The not inconsiderable global knock-on effect of changes to Hong Kong’s educational system –

Saudi Mawhiba gifted programme now has a Board of Trustees and Executive Committee:  Mostly princes; all male

Singapore’s Education Minister says their centralised gifted programme gives ‘critical mass’. Autonomy-lite –


Gifted Resources Newsletter March 2012 (Australia):

Victoria, Australia Government inquiry into gifted education hears from representative of Israeli Atid school system:


Prof. Dr. Ernst Hany will be our next speaker at the Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Ed!

Invitation to join the discussion on gifted children in Ireland –

Reflections on Gifted Education Awareness Week 2012

New post at Gifted Parenting Support, “Irish Gifted Education Awareness Week”

Information leaflet on gifted children went out today to every school in Ireland

InnReach writes again.. New Blogpost on Gifted Education Awareness:

For more on (Irish) Gifted Education Awareness Week, check out

Related Educational Issues

Narrowing Achievement Gaps

Windsor/Maidenhead has huge 41.7% gap between FSM and non-FSM at GCSE, sees free school as part of solution:

The expectations that schools publish how they’re spending Pupil Premium seem to me too broad rather than too onerous

Education Next article critiquing the argument that gap narrowing is entirely a matter of eradicating poverty:

A thought-provoking overview of different approaches to narrowing achievement gaps in the US:

Ken Livingstone on why he plans to reintroduce the EMA in London:

Some detail about the £50m summer schools fund originally siphoned out of the Pupil Premium in response to the riots:

FAQ about the £50m summer school fund: and:  Schools must opt in by 30 April

A real vote winner: Ken Livingstone plans a London EMA for students in families with income below £31K pa:

Thin answer to ‘What steps is Government taking to raise aspirations of children from low income families’: (Col 281W)

Full Fact analysis of redistributional impact of Pupil Premium eligibility changes highlighted by Lammy at oral PQs:

Despite this from @drbeckyallen:  I still think the optimal social mobility strategy must focus on students not schools

@xtophercook shows why narrowing achievement gaps requires targeted pupil-level intervention, not structural reform:

How to predict a student’s SAT score: Look at the parents’ tax return – Daniel Pink

If exam pass rates fall as Gove predicts, Government will fail to meet its own targets; FSM gaps will likely increase

Fair access

Another commonsense TES Editorial I agree with, this time on fair access:

Blog post – Nottingham Potential – a launch and an opening

Item on Villiers Park gifted and fair access programmes on page 12 of Sec Ed:  – shame it doesn’t mention GTVoice

New INTO investment fund could open up opportunities for UK-based gifted students:

Fascinated by potential benefits to international and home gifted students of INTO UEA-based Newton A Levels:

DfE/BIS committed to increasing FSM intake to competitive HEIs; targets should be more specific not less:

University admissions: who is really engaging in social engineering?

‘Use of [contextual admissions] data is a valid and appropriate way for institutions to broaden access’: (Col 167W)

Sutton Trust and Pure Potential launch a Yale-based summer school: – worthwhile or ultimately peripheral?

NYT post about The Posse Foundation Neat approach to HE fair access that will rile the anti-Ebdon brigade

Mail’s vendetta against Ebdon is now so ludicrous that it’s having exactly the opposite effect to that intended

The Higher reminds us that OFFA is relatively toothless, with limited capacity to take on HE over admissions:

Direct link to UCU study on our rapidly shrinking choice of HE courses:

Full SPA Report on use of contextual data in HE admissions:

Social Mobility

Direct link to new ESRC briefing on education’s contribution to social mobility:

5 new ESRC social mobility briefings: education, health, parenting, child poverty and employment

I post this article by Baroness Deech on social mobility only so I can say that I couldn’t disagree more:

The paper by Sir David Watson in which he cocks a snook at the Sutton Trust over social mobility:

Understanding Society longitudinal household survey 2012 includes section on HE and social background:

Government accepts it can’t redefine (income-dependent) poverty; seeks to shift focus to wider social mobility measures

There was apparently a big social mobility speech planned for Gove this Thursday – now cancelled:

Article about Mr Gove in which he reflects on selection and social mobility:

Free schools and Academies

Leicester Tigers proposing a selective 16-19 sports free school:

TES says Clarendon Academies has target of 2000 schools: Their website doesn’t match that ambition

University teaching schools announcement soon. IoE has a free school bid that will become a UTS pathfinder: (Col 815W)

Direct link to new National College study on the growth of academy chains:

Steven Munby in TES on chains: – Who is going to link these chains (aka ‘Islands of educational excellence’) together?

Teenagers clamouring for a place at new ‘free’ 6th form although it offers only 12 subjects. Why?

TES suggests Government is letting academies off too lightly over expectations that they will support weaker schools:

There’s a golden opportunity here! The independent sector should open new free schools for ‘distressed gentlefolk’:

Birmingham University’s plans for a teacher training free school:

I see the Isaac Newton 16-19 maths free school and @Rachel_deSouza  also got a mention at Oral PQs:  (Col 23)

So do we know how many free schools/academies are prioritising Pupil Premium recipients in their admissions?

Direct link to Policy Exchange Report on Social Enterprise Schools:

Curriculum and Pedagogy

‘The Department has not provided specific guidance to schools on setting’: (Col 809W)

David Blunkett asks some critical questions of the National Curriculum Review in today’s TES:

OFSTED’s new survey report on music in schools:

The Cultural Learning Alliance likes the Henley Review –

US perspective on the importance of creativity/innovation alongside mathematical ability: mentions 16-19 free schools:

Yesterday’s Ministerial statement on cultural education:  (Col 24WS)

Direct link to Henley Review of Cultural Education –  – and Government response –

Henley Cultural Review recommendations to get £15m over 3 years including announced money for film academy and heritage

Henley Cultural Review looks to be gifted-friendly:  Why not apply the same approach in an academic context?

Express says Government will invest £3m over 3 years in a new 16-19 academy for talented film-makers:

Assessment and Qualifications

Gove’s letter to HMCI Wilshaw on GCSE early entry:  Hope OFSTED action also widens options for gifted learners

Welsh guidance to schools on using PISA assessment as a learning context:

Are international comparisons in education useful?

OECD working paper on the impact of PISA on national education policy in different countries:  Accentuates the positive

Today is deadline for EoIs in DFE research on L6 tests:  – Assessment leads will need gifted education expertise!

NAHT supports Graham Stuart MP in urging removal of perverse incentives to focus overmuch on borderline pupils

Ex-Edexcel MD calls for national ranking system in public examinations; criticises excessive number of A/A*s:

Government is talking to schools about certification of the EBacc (from Oral PQs yesterday):  (Col 22)

New GCSE research paper on progression rates from GCSE to AS and A Level, focused on EBacc subjects:

Other Education News

Mr Gove visits Miami Schools in search of innovative practice, including iPrep Academy and Edison Senior High:

Haringey Council to launch an Education Commission but faces complaints of belated support for enforced academies:

John Redwood marshalls the pro-selection arguments quite convincingly:

The development of special education voucher schemes in the US:

Teaching Schools Newsletter from National College – February 2012 edition (courtesy of UCET):

How the National College plans to review the designation of Teaching Schools:

Mike Tomlinson will chair a Camden Partnership for Educational Excellence:

London Mayor’s Education Enquiry 1st Report sidesteps the excellence gap. Barely touches on fair access. Poor:

Lib Dem EEF employee welcomes Twigg’s proposal for an independent Office for Educational Improvement:

Interesting and thoughtful Bousted response to Twigg proposal for an Office for Educational Improvement:

Andy Buck  on teaching schools: – Will supply match demand?

Full text of Twigg’s speech yesterday says John Dunford to do a feasibility study of Office for Educational Improvement

NEPC dismisses the Jerald report recommending OFSTED-style inspection in a US context:


Some 23% of pupils attending grammar schools live outside the LA where they are situated: (Col 867W)

Pupil numbers, FSM and non-FSM at state-funded boarding schools January 2011: (DEP2012-0431)

GCSE grades by subject and board annually since 2008: (DEP2012-0433)

OFSTED data: %age of lessons observed that are setted/streamed by ability yearly since 1996: (DEP2012-0434)

Just 2.4% of pupils in grammar schools were eligible for free school meals in Jan 2011: (Col 805W)

Numbers of pupils eligible for the Service Child Pupil Premium by LA and constituency 2011/12: (DEP2012-0358)

The proportion of secondary places in fully selective schools by local authority (May 2011): (Col 725W)

Direct link to today’s release of OFSTED data on maintained school inspection outcomes:

FoI response on A* at A Level – – In 2010/11 an amazing 5.8K students achieved 3+ A* grades

Numbers and percentages of pupils in fully selective schools 2007-2011:  (Col 384W)

119 grammar schools have so far become academies:  (Col 280W)

792 of 1767 comprehensive schools have no sixth form; 679 of 1580 Academies (at 1 Feb) have no sixth form:  (Col WA313)

Research and Opinion

Gifted Education International (January 2012) is a special edition on New Technologies and Virtual Learning:

New blog post on cultural identity and giftedness

Australian blog post on literacy-related enrichment for gifted learners:

At what age should gifted learners be monitored, identified (and labelled?) –

Early thinking on how neuroscience can inform decisions about the timing and targeting of educational investment:

New Renzulli post on the Enrichment Triad Model:

A Short Intro to Gifted children for Primary Teachers

On self-esteem, status and the benefits of allowing children to fail:

Facebook profile beats IQ test in predicting job performance:

Common Endogenous Characteristics of Gifted Students Dr Tracy Cross

Creativity is domain-specific; testing for generic creativity is misguided:

Cultivating Genius in the 21st Century via @theolynn

10,000 hours vs training debate:

Clustering for Success:

LTAD Review “the model is 1-dimensional, there’s a lack of empirical evidence, & its data is questionable”

How do we know what works? The value of randomised controlled trials

Why should we identify gifted children?

The relationship between education/expertise and innovative capacity:

The Trouble with Brains:

Third of a triad of Renzulli blog posts: 3Es of Successful Academic Achievement and Enrichment:

ICEP Europe Blog: Gifted Children Need Support Too:

She’s writing again: Meeting my needs

Neuroscientist Rogier Kievit discusses the Neuroscience of Intelligence:

Does a high IQ make you a better financial investor?

Talent or Practice – What Matters More: Several experts state their (very different) positions –

The 10 Best Movies About Genius:

Motivating the gifted learner:


March 2012

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