Gifted Phoenix Twitter Round-Up: Volume 11


This is the latest in my regular series of periodic records of @Gifted Phoenix activity on Twitter.

These now appear on a quarterly-cum-termly basis and this edition covers the period from 21 November 2012 to 22 February 2013 inclusive.

The post includes almost everything I have published about giftedness and gifted education, as well as most of my coverage of wider education policy here in England (where that is relevant in some way to gifted learners).

I have organised the material as follows:

  • Giftedness and Gifted Education Around the World: there is a global section and one for each continent;
  • UK Gifted News and Developments;
  • Gifted Themes, including Intelligence and Neuroscience, Creativity and Innovation, Twice-exceptional,  Gifted Research, Gifted Education Commentary and Giftedness Commentary;
  • English Education – Related Issues, including Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability, International Comparisons, Social Mobility and Fair Access, Disadvantage and Narrowing Gaps, Selection and Independent Sector, Miscellaneous Issues and Research

As always I have had to use some discretion in placing tweets into categories. Some would fit in two or more different sections (and, on odd occasions, I have included the same tweet under two categories).

I have tried to preserve a fairly chronological order in each section, but have grouped some tweets that are obviously linked. There is a handful of retweets and modified tweets originated by others but, otherwise, these are all my own work. I have not included tweets of mine which have been modified or retweeted by others.

I have not checked if all the hyperlinks remain live, but apologies on behalf of the source if any prove moribund.

The photographic counterpoint is provided by pictures taken at Kew Gardens on a perfect early Spring day.


Kew Gardens February 2013 by GiftedPhoenix

Kew Gardens February 2013 by GiftedPhoenix


Giftedness and Gifted Education Around the World


Global Gifted

Strong European presence amongst the keynotes for the rearranged World Conference plus Tracy Riley from NZ:

But much of World Conference keynote programme is replication of ECHA 2012 and other recent events. Little new

There don’t seem to be any direct flights from London to Louisville: – in case you’re determined to attend

The current World Council Executive Committee and link to details of nomination process:

IYGC 2013- On Celebrating International Year of Giftedness and Creativity (WCGTC)

Latest World Council Newsletter:

Khan Academy shifting towards talent ID: Big message there for specialist gifted education providers

@JonathanLWai in conversation with Khan about (inter alia) how Khan Academy can support gifted education

Will 2013 see the launch of more ‘MOOCs for kids’?

International Conference on Giftedness and Creativity (ICGC) 2014 in Lebanon (new website)

On the Linguistics Olympiad:


Africa Gifted

Brief report on a gifted education workshop organised by the Nigerian National Mathematical Centre:

No. Kencelebs are new to me too. More information here (but very few names):


Americas Gifted

Derek Browne of Entrepreneurs in Action is busy in Barbados: It aims to be world’s top entrepreneurial hub by 2020

Identifying gifted students in Canada:

New report on the Status of PE in the USA: – recommends 225 minutes per week in middle and high schools

Looks like expansion at CTY given some of these new posts:

Gifted education jobs: Notre Dame of Maryland University seeks a specialist Assistant Professor:

Unwrapping the Gifted’s report of Day 1 of the US NAGC convention: – mostly Common Core

Excellent review of day 2 of the US NAGC Convention from Unwrapping the Gifted:

Day 3 of the US NAGC convention:

Another review of the US NAGC Convention of recent memory:

Assouline will replace Colangelo as Director of the Belin-Blank Center at University of Iowa:

Tennessee Governor’s School faces a 26% budget cut but survives:

Review of a new book on PEG at Mary Baldwin College:

This blog is publishing weekly round-ups of gifted education news and resources:

Another feature on the Renzulli  Gifted and Talented Academy in Connecticut:

Criticism of NYC’s gifted testing regime continues:

Duke TIP signs collaborative agreement with Shiv Nadar University to develop Indian gifted education:

Duke TIP and Shiv Nadar University to co-host a February 2013 Conference for Indian gifted educators:

More on the US-Indian collaboration between Duke TIP and Shiv Nadar University:

New blog up – My experience at TAGT 2012 –

Blogpost offering extended interview with a college counsellor from the IEA:

Downward mobility in US: – reinforces case for gifted education focused more on equity issues

What is your understanding of the Measures of Academic Progress?

Gifted jobs: University of Northern Colorado seeks an Assistant Professor: Gifted and Talented –

US Office for Civil Rights Report 2009-12: – includes securing fair access to gifted programmes

Colangelo retrospective on his imminent retirement: and my assessment of Belin-Blank:

Colangelo signs off at Belin-Blank:

Denver Post article: Are gifted and special-needs students being left behind?:

“#Gtchat at the TAGT Conference 2012″ Blog post with pictures!

You can revisit the great resources @brianhousand shares at conferences on his website

New Yong Zhao essay on TIMSS and PISA:

NYC U-turns on sibling preferences in gifted programme: and  and

Overcoming Underrepresentation in Gifted Programs – Ken Dickson:

Gifted Education in the United States:

More grist to the mill for those concerned about gifted education in NYC:

Critical commentary on that NY Times article about gifted education in NYC:

Chester Finn misses the point over identification processes in NYC’s gifted programme:

It’s Gifted Education Month in Alabama:

What do International Tests Really Show About US Student Performance?  -Edweek on same:

New Year, New Sustainability Strategy: New blog post from the Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund

Sheldon will develop You Tube’s ‘Prodigies’ for TV: – well the actor Jim Parsons will!

Georgia spends 300 times more on gifted education than Alabama:

More about gifted education in Alabama:

‘Why are our gifted and talented classes full of Asians?’

‘Gifted, Talented and White’ (from Santa Barbara, California):

More about the Renzulli Academy Hartford, Conn (USA) and plans for expansion elsewhere in the State:

Big list of upcoming gifted education webinars stateside:

Davidson Institute eNews Update January 2013:

Overcoming under-representation in gifted programmes part 2:

(US) States Differ in Defining, Supporting Gifted Students:

THE report on affirmative action in US university admissions:

Imbalance in gifted education programmes in Denver Colorado:

How segregated gifted programmes are hurting America’s poorest students:

A new bill to improve the quality of gifted education in Missouri:

MT @teachfine: Are you ready for our social media blitz to advocate for gifted? It’s today!

US districts experiment with partial homeschooling for gifted learners:

Details of Wenda Sheard’s SENginar: ‘Bootcamp for Determined Advocates’ on 16 March:

NYT article about the ongoing debate on (gifted education) testing and coaching in NYC:

News from Belin-Blank:

You can download several presentations from the California Association for the Gifted 2013 Conference here:

New Jersey’s gifted programmes are feeling the squeeze:

US NAGC seeks a Parent Services and Communications Manager:  – JD refers only to monitoring social media

NYC’s Gifted and Talented Dilemma: A Window into the Utility of Psychometric Testing:

Direct link to US Excellence and Equity Commission Report: ‘For Each and Every Child’:


Kew Gardens 2 February 2013 by Gifted Phoenix

Kew Gardens 2 February 2013 by Gifted Phoenix


Asia Gifted

Israeli Gifted education parts One: ;Two: ; and Three:

Feature on the Technion Sparks programme supporting Israel’s gifted Druse students:

Shortish feature on young ballet dancers from the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts:

Singapore will no longer identify the top scorers in the PLSE and public examinations:

HKAGE’s 2013 Hotung Lecture features Yun Dai and Yan Kong on Chinese + Western approaches to gifted:

HKAGE Research Note: Towards a Multifaceted Understanding of Gifted Underachievement:

Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE) annual Hotung Lecture features Yun Dai and Yan Kong:

Report on the Malaysian Gifted Education Conference 2012:

Poor TIMSS results in Malaysia: – this blogger says the Government is strangely silent

Memory and Cognitive Strategies of High Ability Students in a Rural (Malaysian) Secondary School:

Malaysian Nobelist Mindset Programme via @noorsyakina and and

SABIC is sponsoring scholarships for Saudi Mawhiba participants to pursue undergraduate study abroad:

The Saudis have been back to WKU:

Last in a tetralogy of Asian Tiger posts, here’s Taiwan Parts One: and Two


Australasia Gifted

Feature on gifted education in New Zealand, especially the NZAGC:

The Kiwis also agonise over TIMSS and PIRLS: – ‘wake-up calls’ the world over!

Feature on giftedness and gifted education out of Otago, New Zealand:

The gifted label should be permanently retired according to Otago IT entrpreneur (and ex-dentist!):

Brief article about upcoming NZAGC Annual Conference:

NZ research survey: top students uncomfortable being called “gifted”:

Gifted Resources November Newsletter No2 can be read online at

Gifted Resources December Newsletter has been posted at

Gifted Resources January 2013 newsletter can be read online at

Gifted Resources February newsletter can be read online at

Re-cataloguing Gifted Resources library 2

PWC has estimated the effect on Australian national productivity of educational improvement to Finnish level Aus$ 3.6tn

Early entry to university expands in New South Wales:

Victoria Australia will accept most of the recommendations in critical report on its gifted education

Government response to Victorian Inquiry into Education of Gifted Students

Article from Australia on the Victorian Government inquiry into gifted education:

That was the year that was 2012 for Sprites Site: – Many thanks Jo!

Did you miss: In Memoriam Edna McMillan from @LesLinks:

Notre Dame University in WA has been running a Cultural Decoding programme for the state’s gifted students:

Our obsession with national talent is harming students – Australian-based discussion:

Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians has extended its reach to Hong Kong:

Australian Curriculum gifted students’ guidance: – A useful comparator for English National Curriculum

Article on NSW’s Best Start Gifted and Talented Kindergarten Resource  Package:  – Here:


Europe Gifted

If you live in an EU country do please lobby your MEP to sign this declaration on talent support:

Written Declaration on Supporting Talent in the EU: so far signed by 84 MEPs:

84 signatures on that Written Declaration on Supporting Talent in EU -Time for MEPs to pull their fingers out!

New post (as promised) examining progress in the European Talent Initiative:

Help to discover and develop talents in Europe

Reminding all MEPs to please sign the WD on European Talent Support: – deadline 19 February

You can petition your MEPs about European Talent Support here:

Looks as though the Written Declaration on supporting talent in the EU (0034) will lapse:

It’s official: European Parliament Written Declaration on Talent Support has lapsed (it got 178 signatures):

Just found online an agenda for a public hearing last month on the Written Declaration on talent:

@jtoufi has blogged today about this new Opinion on gifted from the European Economic and Social Committee:

@jtoufi ‘s original post (in Spanish) is here  Link at end of EESC page to full Opinion

Here’s a short summary of the European Parliamentary Hearing on gifted education I mentioned recently:

Tumbleweed’s also blowing at European Talent Centre dormant since my December post

An interview with Peter Csermely largely about ECHA:

Csermely inteview from Gifted and Talented Ireland – Will the 2013 EU Talent Conference be there or Lithuania?

Lykkelige Barn: – a Norwegian parent’s experience courtesy of @Kariekol

Danskene vil vite mer om evnerike barn. Vil ikke vi? (from @Kariekol in Norway):

Ogg tak for det gamle: (review of 2012 from @Kariekol in Norway)

Todo esta escrito.

No te pierdas esta entrada, puede ser importante

Talento y Educacion :: Javier Touron: El modelo de los tres anillos  e

El Revolving Door Identification Model

No estan todos los que son… pero donde estan?

Que pasa cuando identificamos en un centro educativo?

Las escalas de rendimiento en PIRLS-TIMSS: mas alla de la media (I)

Las escalas de rendimiento en PIRLS-TIMSS: mas alla de la media (y II)

El modelo de identificacion Talent Search: una introduccion

Los principios pedagogicos del Talent Search:

El corazon del Talent Search: el “Out of Level”

Todo esta escrito. Enero 2013

El Talent Search: un mensaje para las escuelas

Es el Talent Search un modelo americano? La experiencia en Espana

El Talent Search a traves de los anos

KhanAcademy. Una revolucion a coste cero!

Feature on the Maximilianeum in Munich, Bavaria:

Good news: Our center will lease out virtual offices for other gifted centres around the world.

Report on progress in gifted education in both Turkey and Kosovo:

Congratulations to @Dazzlld and @Frazzlld for making it into the Guardian!

An ‘Offtopicarium’ on gifted education with a Polish complexion:

How to Help a Gifted Child? article in French magazine, Journal des Femmes :

Support and Education of Gifted Students in Poland:

How Finland Serves Gifted and Talented Pupils:

Gifted Education In Ireland:

The Gifted and Gifted Education in Hungary:

“Gifted Education in the Netherlands”

Acerca superdotacion y talento ( page):

Hai sa facem si noi ceva!.Maria si Paul vorbesc clar (supradotati in Romania)

Young, Gifted and Roma (podcast): – from the Council of Europe

The Slovenians also knew about that European Parliamentary Hearing:

The Austrians have published an English translation of their 2011 White Paper: Promoting Talent and Excellence


Kew Gardens 3 February 2013 by GiftedPhoenix

Kew Gardens 3 February 2013 by GiftedPhoenix


UK Gifted News and Developments

Gender imbalance revealed in Cambridge Chemistry Challenge:

Direct link to CBI’s First Steps Report: – demands stronger focus on individual needs, including gifted

CBI report complains of insufficient challenge for able children from disadvantaged backgrounds: (p 22)

CBI: competitors like Singapore ‘have a clearly articulated approach towards gifted and talented’ (p 25):

Can’t find anti-bullying report re hiding talents cited here: but questionnaire is here:

Making progress with my blog’s key documents library: – all help and feedback gratefully received

Pro-gifted parental rant against phonics: – though last time I checked Joan Freeman wasn’t a ‘literacy expert’

Laws to LGA: ‘We now need to move to a system…That includes stretching the most able’:

Musical chairs at IGGY: the erstwhile content adviser’s now MD; previous incumbent looks after ‘partnerships’

And IGGY’s staff complement is now 19. Add in the Guardian adverts and that’s a lot of income to generate:

IGGY is advertising free trial memberships for Warwickshire students:

When I last checked it was FULL free IGGY membership for all in Warwickshire/Coventry schools:

Final post of the year is an in-depth review of IGGY, the International Gateway for Gifted Youth

@naceuk says it’s a partner of @iggywarwick – but IGGY only admits to a water company and the National Grid

IGGY is running a better conference this year: – but sadly @GiftedPhoenix is still frozen out of proceedings

I haven’t been invited (again). I presume that @iggywarwick have ‘sent me to Coventry’ (ha ha):

Undeterred by Milburn, DfE continues Dux Awards Scheme in 2013 – – some 20% of secondaries took part in 2012

New Dux Scheme Press Notice: – Laws now in the lead and the 2013 target’s to involve 2000 schools

The OU-led Future Learn MOOC press release/briefing note: – excellent news for school-age gifted learners

DfE Pupil Premium case study features support for Paignton Community College’s gifted and talented programme:

Here’s a short but timely new post on High Attainers in the 2012 Primary School Performance Tables:

My analysis of high attainers in the Primary League Tables: Can anyone source national KS1APS data defining this group?

Gifted Phoenix Blog: 2012 Review and Retrospective:

You might have missed: The MENSA ‘carrot’ moment: plus apology:

Her Majesty gives gifted teenager the Complete Works: – Apparently a ‘surreal’ and ‘bizarre’ one-off

Realities and myths of children with high learning potential

Sutton Trust planning support for gifted disadvantaged with UCL and Kent academies says @conorfryan:

Martin Stephen’s doing a gifted education talk in Milton Keynes: – when will his research study be published?

The role of technology in gifted education: Can you help me to pin down the core issues?

Just completed the Guardian Chat on technology and gifted education, see the record here:

SSAT is getting back into gifted and talented: – doesn’t say who’s leading the sessions

GT Voice Bulletin February 2013 Edition: – Announces upcoming meetings on future of gifted education

“The Department does not collect information about gifted and talented young athletes in schools”: (Col 332W)

No pictures yet but some fascinating data (I hope) in my new post on High Attainers in the Secondary Performance Tables

More on Ofsted’s upcoming report on our most able pupils: – and my analysis of the data:

Yesterday’s super-timely blog post looking at the secondary/KS5 performance table data for high attaining students:

I’ve added a brief postscript on Ofsted plans for an imminent gifted survey to the end of this post:

Registration open for 2nd round of Dux Award Scheme: – Haven’t yet seen any response to Milburn’s sideswipe

References to inadequate progress by more able pupils are peppered throughout Estyn’s Annual Report 2011/12:

Elite young footballers burn out before they leave school:

Koshy and Casey on English Gifted Education: – I’d say 80% good and accurate

The very British shame of having a clever child

Whatever happened to Sutton Trust support for highly able

learners? (see end). Have I missed an announcement?

Potential Plus (ex NAGC) launches under its new name today

Interestingly, Gove’s SMF speech includes a lament that the Dux Scheme has been unpopular:

Delighted Ofsted’s challenging failure to use Pupil Premium with disadvantaged high attainers but can’t find the report

Congratulations to Potential Plus UK:

Ofsted to prepare landmark ‘rapid response’ report on English gifted and talented education: Wonderful news!

My blog post concludes that upcoming Ofsted survey on highly able will need to look carefully at NC reforms:

Can any Ofsted readers explain why there’s been no official announcement of your gifted education survey?

Eastleigh Tory candidate says state schools can’t educate her gifted son: and:

More on the ‘son too smart for state school gaffe’: – There’s been a storm on Twitter apparently

Liberals more worried whether Hutchings row will rebound on Clegg while Dale plays the autism card

Hutchings gaffe gave Libs/Lab a great platform to set out gifted education policies, but the cupboard is bare

Really important reminders in Ofsted’s Pupil Premium Report to target gifted disadvantaged learners:


Kew Gardens 4 February 2013 by Gifted Phoenix

Kew Gardens 4 February 2013 by Gifted Phoenix


Gifted Themes


Intelligence and Neuroscience

Perfect Saturday reading – an academic paper about Einstein’s brain:

Willingham urges caution in the application of neuroscience to education:

A blogpost on metacognition:

Neuroscience fiction:

The Neuroscience of Creativity (featuring Greenfield’s work):

Daniel Willingham has begun a week-long series on how neuroscience can be applied to resolve educational problems:

Second in Willingham’s series about positive uses of neuroscience in education:

Third of five in the Willingham Neuroscience series:

4th and penultimate episode in Willingham’s Neuroscience series:

Part 5 and coda to the Willingham neuroscience series: and

On Brains and Brilliance:

Math ability requires crosstalk in the brain:

How education hijacked brain research – some governments already considering brain training programmes

Working memory is a better test of ability than IQ:

Fractionating Human Intelligence (courtesy of @sbkaufman):

Independent’s summary: of the Fractionating Human intelligence paper:

New intelligence-related articles on top-end Flynn effect: and nature of intelligence:

Are we more or less intelligent than in the past?

More on motivation, IQ and maths:

Can Everyone Become Highly Intelligent? (thanks to @SurrealAnarchy ):

The Future of Intelligence:

On Neuroscience in Education via the OUP Blog:

Csikzentmihalyi – don’t go with the flow!

Working memory training does not live up to the hype:

A Genetic Code for Genius? via @WSJ


Creativity and Innovation

PISA’s Schleicher: ‘schooling now needs to be much more about…creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving’ (TES):

Grounding Creative Giftedness in the Body, from @sbkaufman

Current state of play on the Science of Creativity:

The Characteristics of Highly Creative People:

Creative Intelligence:

OECD working paper by Lucas, Claxton and Spencer on the assessment of creativity in schools:



SEN Magazine feature on dual and multiple exceptionality by Denise Yates of NAGC:

Aspie cult goes underground: – who wants to be part of a spectrum when you can have your own syndrome?

TES report on segregation of SEN learners: and link to the new IoE Report it references:

Education Select Committee has published uncorrected oral evidence on SEN:


Gifted Research

Extensive Gifted Education Research round-up from Ireland: and with a perfect final paragraph!

Full working paper: Conscientiousness Education and Longevity of High Ability Individuals – Savelyev:

The impact of motivation (relative to IQ) on achievement in maths:  (summary only)

The impact of high self-esteem on educational achievement is limited at best:

A pretty definitive study on relationship of self-esteem, academic self-concept and attainment:

The full text of the Marsh/OMara paper is available free at the bottom of this page:

Turkish Journal of Giftedness and Education: Vol 2.2, December 2012 edition:

Willingham on measurement of non-cognitive factors:

Lots more on the assessment of non-cognitive variables (Sedlacek):

“High Ability & Learner Characteristics” International Journal of Instruction 2013

Willingham on ‘How to Make a Young Child Smarter’: and the full article via @sbkaufman

I’m building an open access gifted education research repository on my blog called OpenGate Tweet me some links

How friendship networks can influence academic achievement: link to full paper by Blansky et al:

Does Athletic Success Come at the Expense of Academic Success?

The Shift from Cohorts to Competency (Digital Learning Now paper):


Gifted Education Commentary

Q. What can we learn from international best practice in gifted education?  – A. Much from careful scrutiny

G&T Policy Choices for Schools: – Transcript of last night’s #gtie chat

How You Can Help the Genius in the Classroom:

Gifted Exchange encourages discussion on use of gifted learners as peer tutors:

Homework torture for some gifted students:

Transcript from tonight’s chat, Dear Teacher, My child is gifted and…

Review of last week’s #gtie chat: – this week’s tonight (Sunday) at 21.00 UK time

G&T School Policy Choices for Schools:

A bunch of strategies (13 actually) supporting academic motivation:

New post at GPS: “Teachers Partnering with Parents”:

Reading “Gifted Education and New Year’s Resolutions” on Smart Girl Politics:

Interested in gifted education? Some great info in the last few #gtie chats of 2012:

Mindsets and Gifted Education: Transformation in Progress:

The Quill Guy has been posting about gifted and talented writing projects:

#gtchat transcript of “Special Guest – Rebecca McMillan Director of Online Education at GHF” at

New blog: ‘Gifted Mathematics – Learn How to be Successful in Mathematics Competitions Worldwide’:

Advice for New Gifted Education Specialists

The Gifted Elementary Pupil. How to spot and how to support them:

#gtchat transcript: Instructional Strategies for Gifted Education

‘Calculating the Return on Investment in Gifted Education’:

Using creating challenge and mindmap to consider 2013 activities for Gifted Resources

Storify record of #gtchat: Guest, Dr. Joy Lawson Davis and “Diversity in Gifted Education

New Post – Differentiating for Gifted students

Join the Gifted Education Outreach Corps:

What’s Wrong With Being Smart? More squabbles over the excellence/equity balance in gifted education

STEM is Gifted Education:

Another page: ‘Methods and Materials for Gifted Education’:

RT @cybraryman1: My Identifying Gifted sites (see NAGC What is Giftedness):

Building a Gifted Education PLN:  #gtchat transcript: and associated blog post:

Yesterday’s PBL #gtchat transcript: and blog post:


Giftedness Commentary

Ten myths about gifted students and programmes for the gifted:

Transcript of When Parents Push Too Hard

Gifted children: How to know if we are pushing too hard:

New post at GPS, “A Disturbance in the Force” – including reference to UK NAGC name change

Being Gifted is Something to Celebrate:

Missed our last #gtchat, “When Parents Push Too Hard”? Check out our blog,

Why Your Gifted Teen May Act Anything but Gifted:

Defining giftedness and its goals (from Duke):

First-time gtchatters: Check out the the transcript from ‘Building Connections with #gtchat ‘

Transcript for tonight’s #gtie chat. Scroll to 21:00 for start:

Gifted, talented: Entitled to be Exceptional (@DouglasEby):

Why Some Gifted Individuals Don’t Love a Party:

Mythillogical: Belief versus the reality of giftedness:

Global #gtchat – the Year Ahead Storify Transcript

New post @ our blog! ‘Global #gtchat – the Year Ahead’

Transcript for last night’s #gtie chat:  Summary to follow later in the week, I hope!

Gifted Kids at Risk: Who’s Listening?

Learn about #gtchat from our guest blog post at MyTownTutors

Parenting Gifted Children:

The Norm Can Blow It Out Its Ear #gtie discusses gifted adults

Lance the Myths of Giftedness A response by @peter_lydon to @davidmcw’s piece on talent

Gifted Children and the Growth Mindset

Can’t join #gtchat at our current time? ‘Like’ our Facebook Page to stay in the loop!

Transcript for tonight’s #gtie chat:

Transcript of last night’s #gtie chat:

When It’s Time to Cut your Gifted Child Some Slack:

If it’s Wednesday it must be breakfast that makes kids smarter:

Do Gifted Kids Want to be Zuckerberg Rather Than Einstein?

‘Let’s Not Call Them ‘”Gifted”‘ from a what looks to be a new Blog on the scene:

#Gtchat transcript: Fostering Parent Awareness

The term “gifted” sucks in so many ways:

If Not ‘Gifted’, What?

TED conversation on the challenges facing gifted and creative individuals:


Kew Gardens 5 February 2013 by Gifted Phoenix

Kew Gardens 5 February 2013 by Gifted Phoenix


English Education – Related Issues



Government response to Lords Science and Technology Committee Report on STEM: deemed inadequate:

Outcomes of consultation on primary MFL in the national curriculum:  – classical Latin and Greek are new options

Direct link to Chance to Shine school sports survey 54% of parents said children got less than 2 hours PE/sports a week

Continued campaign in reaction to marginalisation of dance:

Lords Oral PQ on arts in schools: (Col 1613): Hill says National Cultural Education Plan is delayed until New Year

Pollard bemoans imbalance in new National Curriculum. Cynics might say primary prescription promotes academisation:

Ofqual Report on 2011-12 National Assessment Arrangements: – Interesting commentary on new L6 tests at p26ff

Catholic bishops have decided that exclusion of RE from the EBacc affects parents’ human rights:

Direct link to Teaching About Christianity in religious education: a review of research – by Nigel Fancourt:

The accusation that the Coalition is pursuing a narrow, utilitarian curricular agenda is fertile territory for Labour:

Progress report on school-club sports links: (Col 53W)

DfE has let a contract worth £515K to Poetry Archive to run a National Poetry Recitation Competition for Years 10-13:

An item on school music notable principally for the author’s pseudonym: – explained here:

It’s a moot point whether children’s authors are best placed to decide the National Curriculum Eng Lit canon:

I assume the Burghes report for Politeia on primary maths will appear here shortly: – It’s not there yet

Yesterday’s Burghes paper for Politeia on primary maths: – comparisons with Finland, Japan and Singapore

Story on error-strewn primary NC drafts once more calls into question the process (and people?) used to draw them up:

This is a really neat website mapping the NSW curriculum: – Can we have one of those?

Summary of new Engineering Council report – wants 100% increase in numbers taking GCSE physics/triple science:

New DfE/Wellcome evaluation of the Science Learning Centre Network: – positive but warns against removing core funding

Sounds from Gove increasingly like the draft secondary NC programmes of study won’t issue until the New Year:

No sign of the APPG history report though clearly all the papers have seen it. Sigh. I assume it will be published here

National Plan for Cultural Education won’t now be published until 2013: (Col 134W)

ACME’s new Maths Report repeats the same old ACME themes: – but where is it? (they’re not the acme of early risers)

Though ACME has managed to publish a KS4 reform consultation response: – no tiering is ‘neither feasible nor desirable’

ACME’s Report from yesterday ‘Raising the Bar: Developing Able Young Mathematicians’: – a ‘critical situation’

Labour’s about to release a new School Sports Action Plan: – the talent development section will be key

Full sport-by-sport breakdown of whole sport plan funding for 2013-2017 including talent development:

“We are putting competitive sport at the heart of the new school curriculum” What does that refer to?

Government’s school sports strategy delayed until New Year by ministerial disagreements:

Ofsted School Sport Survey delayed until at least February 2013 by ‘redundancies’:

Mr Gove’s and Mr Hunt’s Party Games – on PE and school sports (courtesy of @DrDickB):

At last some common sense on Seacole: – or else convert to academy status!

Direct link to Nuffield Foundation comparative study: Towards Universal Participation in Post-16 Mathematics: 7

Is this a last ditch effort by Forgan to secure a halfway decent Cultural Education Plan? – we’re still waiting for that

Twigg: ‘we’d extend the academies’ freedoms on the national curriculum to all schools’: – New? So no NC under Labour?

Ofsted expects to publish its Report on ‘PE in Schools 2008-12’ in February 2013: (Col 805W)

Truss’s N of E Conference Speech eliminates some lacunae. Commissions Imperial to run 1 year A level teachers’ course

History Curriculum Association promotes its own curriculum to exempt academies and private schools

There’s no Ministerial Statement on National Curriculum Review today: – so Government misses its self-imposed deadline

TES Editorial is on the Government’s Janus-faced curriculum policy: – exactly why we’re still waiting for the PoS!

I do think the SMF speech tippietoes rather unconvincingly past the curricular freedom/content prescription conundrum

@EducationLabour Could you confirm if my reference to your NC policy here is correct? (Late Skirmishes section) Thanks:

Is it official Labour policy that academies’  National Curriculum freedoms would be extended to all schools?

Pending imminent National Curriculum announcements here’s Part 1 of a new post retrospecting on June 2012 to yesterday:

My blog post from last night tracing the National Curriculum review/EBC story from June 2012 to yesterday:

School sports announcement expected in next 2 weeks: – new funding, no ringfence but maybe a ‘recommendation’

During today’s EBC statement debate Labour must clarify whether they would extend academies’ NC freedoms to all schools

Ofsted on PE: all teachers should raise expectations of more able; offer challenging competitive activities:

OFSTED on PE: few schools have a balance ‘between increasing participation and generating elite performance’:

New Education Committee inquiry on School Sports post Olympics:  -submit evidence via new portal:

Science and Technology Committee Report ‘Educating tomorrow’s Engineers: impact of Government reforms on 14-19 education’:

British Psychological Society will shortly publish a report on psychology in schools:


Assessment and Accountability

@warwickmansell fisks this memorandum on the EBC: here: chokes on his tea and predicts a car crash

KS Teacher Assessment and Reporting Arrangements (TARA) 2013:

If techbac is a performance table measure, doesn’t that pre-empt the upcoming consultation on secondary accountability?

Ofqual’s EBC letter yesterday: – is likely to delay the promised December consultation on secondary accountability…

Given Ofqual’s EBC intervention: – the case for sorting accountability BEFORE sorting exams becomes much stronger

I wonder if Ofqual’s EBC letter presages adoption of explicitly PISA-linked tests for accountability purposes:

TechBacc proposals = Diploma with a new name While we’re on names, check out the working group…

Support materials for the KS2 English Grammar Punctuation and Spelling Level 6 test:

The Baker/C&G Tech Bac and the Government’s performance table Tech Bac – Nothing more than a recipe for confusion (TES)

‘Imminent’ secondary accountability consultation likely to feature more focus on KS4 average points scores: (TES)

Another post-GCSE maths option will shortly be added into the mix:

Secondary accountability consultation also postponed to January: – but is it to be ‘best 8’ GCSEs or EBacc plus?

Evaluation/consultation Report on Key Stage 4/5 Destination Measures, setting out planned changes in 2013:

Education Commitee recommends Government takes expert subject-specific advice on removal of tiering from EBC (para 61)

Education Committee “We have serious concerns about the proposed timetable for reform”:

Introduction of challenging extension papers sounds U-turnish ie exactly the opposite of untiered EBCs

Updated EBacc FAQs (post reclassification of computer science): – interesting to reflect on impact on ‘triple science’

My blog post from last night tracing the National Curriculum review/EBC story from June 2012 to yesterday:

TES reports ‘more challenging extension papers’ in GCSE maths and science for A*/A candidates:

Strong interest in my old post about implications of removing NC levels:  – grading’s still an unresolved issue tonight

Summary of KS4 reform consultation responses says 56% thought impossible across all EBC subjects:

Reports pre-empt A level reform announcement: – stand alone AS levels and Russell Group advisory board/annual reviews

Interesting to note 12 month delay on A level reforms: – that may suggest same for EBC

Classic UUK press release on A level reform: – we agree changes are needed but these aren’t quite the right ones

Gove’s letter on A levels to Ofqual now published: – but there is as yet no accompanying FAQ on the implications

Interesting idea that A level students should get separate absolute and relative grades:

1994 Group is furious too “very little consultation with the sector” AS reform “extremely concerning”

Number of students from maintained schools and sixth form colleges achieving 3+ A*/A grade A levels by year: (Col 327W)

The Ministerial Statement on A level reform: (Col 315) – AS will ‘have same content as A levels but half the breadth’

Direct link to Secondary Performance Tables 2012, just published:

SFR02/13: GCSE and equivalent results in England 2011/12 (Revised):

SFR05/2013:  A level and equivalent examination results in England (Revised):

SFR04/2013 – GCSE and Equivalent Attainment by Pupil Characteristics in England:

Uncorrected transcript of Education Select Committee oral evidence session with HMCI  on 13 February:

Basically Derby seems to have been doing a reasonable job:  – did Ofsted expect it to be less successful?


International Comparisons

You can download Pearson’s Learning Curve Report or read online at dedicated website here:

Can’t find any evidence that Pearson’s Learning Curve report takes account of high (or low) level achievement:

Conor Ryan digs beneath the surface of Pearson’s Learning Curve report and rankings:

Sutton Trust Report on the limitations of international comparisons studies: and TES on same:

Nor does latest Sutton Trust effort on PISA/TIMSS etc properly credit my source blogpost here: Grump, grump

Pleased Sutton Trust is debunking the ‘UK’s problem is solely a long tail’ myth. But footnote ref to my post is wrong:

This is the page to store in readiness for publication of TIMSS/PIRLS data at 09.00 UK time on Tuesday 11 December:

Schleicher’s explanation of differences between PISA and TIMSS/PIRLS results is a bit of a punt, to put it mildly:

A reminder that it’s TIMSS and PIRLS publication day – results appear here at 09.00 UK time:

The IEA’s TIMSS and PIRLS reports:

The TIMSS/PIRLS press notice  for completeness: – a very mixed bag indeed, so it’s hard to make any political capital

DfE’s Research brief on TIMSS for good measure: and NFER’s national report:

NFER’s National Report on PIRLS in England: – and DfE’s research brief:

Interesting to compare Duncan: and Truss: on TIMSS and PIRLS

Here’s my new post examining the Performance of High Achievers in TIMSS, PIRLS (and PISA)

Did you know that England outperformed Finland at the high achievers’ benchmarks in TIMSS and PIRLS?

Didn’t look at widening gap evidence, but Asian Tigers have many more high achievers at advanced benchmarks, see

Informative article about the impact of PISA on different national qualifications:


Kew Gardens 6 February 2013 by GiftedPhoenix

Kew Gardens 6 February 2013 by GiftedPhoenix


Social Mobility and Fair Access

BIS press notice links to new Sutton Trust research: tracking decision making of high-achieving HE applicants:

Sutton Trust is also investing in social mobility via employment in ‘Real Estate’:  – An unfortunate Americanism imho

Stupid social mobility article: – wants to substitute WP for fair access rather than pursuing both

A new Sutton Trust publication celebrating its 15th anniversary:

Sutton Trust’s new report on the education of top people: and associated press notice:

HEFCE’s revised qualifications list for the ABB high grades quasi-market in 2013-14: – Even AAC counts!

Contexualised admissions set to become universal in Scotland: – Makes OFFA seem toothless by comparison

TES projects a false dichotomy between Gove’s and Ebdon’s views on fair access They’re not irreconcilable

Careers England Survey of the Impact of Education Act 2011:

A HEFCE/OFFA progress report on a ‘national strategy for access and student success’ – Now you’re talking!

St Andrews says only 220 of 5,572 5th years from Scotland’s deprived areas managed 3 Higher A grades in 2011:

What St Andrews actually said about fair access (as opposed to the versions in this morning’s papers):

Independent careers guidance will be extended to 16-18 year-olds in colleges and Year 8 in schools. from Sept 2013:

Indy’s Lampl fan club attend the 15th anniversary shindig: – ends with some U-turn scepticism about open access

Adonis has a point, but perhaps fair access should focus a little more on elite courses rather than elite universities:

Percentage achieving 2+ A levels at A*/A by ethnic background and by local authority 2008-11:  (Dep 2012-1781)

Gibb and Gove continue the unfair campaign against OFFA’s Ebdon at Oral PQs, prompted by Adonis: (Col 580)

‘Not every aspect of the open access scheme necessarily recommends itself to the Government’ (Gove): (Col 587)

Uncorrected transcript of Hancock evidence to Education Select Committee on Careers Guidance:

Direct link to the Sutton Trust’s new personal statements research:

Ebdon response to Adonis, Gibb et al:

Sutton Trust expands its US Summer Schools: – but how do they impact on fair access here?

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission still doesn’t have its full quota of members: (Col 102W)

Direct link to the UCAS End of Cycle Report 2012: – looks positive from fair access perspective

What proportion of top students taking up degree courses in the US will return to the UK on graduation?

Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission Members finally announced; Gillian Shephard is new Vice-Chair

Series of four HE outreach for WP/fair access toolkits plus supporting material:

Higher feature on the fragmented nature of HE outreach for fair access:

Coded praise from Milburn for Gove: – He’s on the right track provided he acts on my Social Mobility Commission Report

Anonymous insider criticism of Independent v State element of Government’s own social mobility indicators

Sutton Trust blog: Moving Up the Great Gatsby Curve:

Willetts stresses gender alongside ethnicity/class in fair access: but socio-economic disadvantage is the common factor

THE draws attention to new flexibilities in ABB policy to support fair access:

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission Framework Document: (Dep 2012-1939)

McGhee HE access for white working class males article: – rather lets selective universities off the hook

Geraint Jones QC is OFFA’s newly-appointed Statutory Reviewer:

Time on Oxbridge attempts to recruit more students from poorer backgrounds (via @dlknowles)

HEFCE Grant Letter 2013-14 confirms ‘unrestrained recruitment’ extended to ABB A level grades:

Sutton Trust on outcomes of its US summer school: and – You too can attend Oglethorpe University!

HEFCE announces timetable for integrating its Widening Participation Strategic Statements with OFFA’s Access Agreements

The fair access debate unfolds in Scotland:

You can at least read OFFA’s press release: plus Ebdon commentary in THE:

Well OFFA has tried to publish its Access Agreement Guidance for 2014-15, but this link isn’t yet working:

Link to OFFA Access Agreement Guidance for 2014-15 finally working:

HEFCE guidance on National Scholarship Programme 2014-15:

This postgraduate’s case against St Hughes College Oxford has all the ingredients of a cause celebre: L

Mail previews the AAB measure due in the Secondary Performance Tables on Thursday:

“within the colleges and…managerial hierarchy there remains an undertone of elitism, privilege and exclusivity”:

His children’s education was always a ticking timebomb for Clegg given he’s the self-styled champion of social mobility

Btw, the facilitating subjects A level performance measure must have been shaped to feed this social mobility indicator

A second take on the social mobility impact of AS level reform:

Will AS level reforms have a negative impact on fair access and social mobility? – Conceivably

Russell Group cautions on the facilitating subjects measure in KS5 league tables – still studiedly silent on AS level?

Sutton Trust adds to calls to a national co-ordinating body for fair access to HE: – Spot on

HMC’s chair-elect believes only independent schools provide social mobility:  I’ve seen some warped logic in my time…

Touche Sutton Trust! John Jerrim questions reliability of international comparisons of social mobility:

Two elements of the bigger social mobility production function: resilience: and cultural capital:

Sutton Trust Report on The Postgraduate Premium: and associated Press Release:

Since reintroduction of a Cambridge entrance exam won’t help fair access, will OFFA be challenging that?:

It must be driven by the associated social mobility indicator. Don’t know who ‘invented’ that:

The latest UCAS data: and OFFA’s comment on same:

OFFA provisionally estimates Access Agreement support for disadvantaged students at £386.5m in 2011-12: (Col 691W)

Free Enterprise Group paper which calls for OFFA to be scaled back:

Lampl blogpost alongside the new Postgraduate Premium Report:

Whatever happened to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission? – No website, remit or publications timetable

Adjournment Debate on the Oxford postgraduate access case: (Col 431)

Education Select Committee has published uncorrected oral evidence on SEN: and careers:

Direct link to Education Select Committee’s deeply critical report on careers guidance

Media coverage of OFFA’s as yet unpublished 2014-15 guidance:  and – advocates long-term outreach

OFFA’s 2014-15 guidance apparently announces National Scholarship Programme reforms:

UUK responds to OFFA’s 2014-15 Guidance before OFFA has even published it: – someone needs to pull their finger out!


Disadvantage and Narrowing Gaps

Table showing Grammar School FSM eligibility by school: (Col 356W) – almost all are below 5% – scandalous

The EYFSP Attainment by Pupil Characteristics data mentioned earlier: – FSM gap at 19% largely unchanged since 2010

Work and Pensions Select Committee Report on Universal Credit covers progress on FSM passporting at paras 184-195:

As far as I can establish this is all DfE has published about prioritising FSM admissions to maintained schools:

The FSM priority admissions pilot for maintained schools comes out from under wraps:

Consultation on Improving Educational Outcomes for Children of Travelling Families: – but it isn’t really that

Marginally better looked after children attainment gaps: don’t yet warrant a Pupil Premium Plus:

New series of Pupil Premium evidence notes and case studies from DfE:

Sounds like FSM in FE are once more off the table, because the cost is prohibitive: (Col WA291)

In 2012-13 1,924,920 pupils attracted the Pupil Premium including 52,370 attracting the Service Premium:  (Col 841W)

Estimated costs of FSM for all families entitled to Universal Credit and those with incomes under £16K: (Col 341W)

ASCL call for Pupil Premium funding formula undermined by strange notion of weighting to reflect attainment gaps (TES)

EEF T&LTooklit relaunch: – see ‘latest updates’ tab for what has been added:


Selection and Independent Sector

Defensive speech from president of the GSA: – basically the message to Government is ‘we’ll only co-operate if you pay’

DfE can’t say how many/which schools can select on basis of aptitude in each of the permitted specialisms: (Col 373W)

Times incorrectly reporting KCL will open first 16-19 maths free school. Brief (free) Russian report here:

KCL release on its 16-19 maths free school Wolf leads; DfE’s paying development and ’14-16 outreach’ grant

Update  and FAQ on 16-19 maths free schools. Now maths only with ‘significant’ HE input

Allegations of cheating in London 11+ examinations:

Bucks grammar schools reveal new 11+ designed to to tackle the issue of private tutoring

So we now have 16-19 maths/STEM academy projects in Norwich, London and Exeter: – but there’s funding for 12

Apropos Exeter 16-19 maths specialist school: – my (oldish) post on the planned network:

DfE press release on Exeter 16-19 specialist maths free school:  –  Unclear why they cite only Kolmogorov as the model

Delighted Boyle’s pushing fair access to GS/faith schools  Gatekeepers’ resistance must be overcome

Direct link: Barriers to Choice in Public Service, calling for support for poor students to enter grammar/faith schools

DfE wants more bids from universities to open specialist 16-19 maths free schools – it now has a dedicated team:


Miscellaneous Issues

Here’s Labour’s online policy hub – education and children page:  (Labour list gave out the wrong URL this morning)

Just 3.85% of 1,920 converter academies have sponsor arrangements to raise performance in another academy: (Col 325W)

I was surprised at how anti-sets this DfE webpage is: – compared with my analysis

I strove to find the middle ground here: – most of the ‘gifted’ literature is avidly pro-setting…

Feature on ability-based vertical grouping in Y9-11: – doesn’t really bring out the downside of ability groups

300 FE colleges to start competing for 14 year-olds: Will that remove early entry barrier?

FAQs on 14-16 enrolment in colleges:

A post that asks some serious questions about Futurelearn, the OU MOOC endeavour:

Updated FAQ on 14-16 enrolment in colleges: – bit vague on the curricular implications

TES reports on progress towards 14-16 admissions in FE: – slow start but could be a big deal in future

New OECD analysis of the Social Benefits of Education:  Be good to check how recession has impacted on life satisfaction

Updated details of the Dance and Drama Awards (DADA):

This LSE Growth Commission report focuses entirely on the ‘long tail’ in discussing human capital investment in schools

Direct link to new Education Select Committee Report on Home Education:

DfE has finally published information on free school proposers here  and here

FoI response listing academies that have received pre-warning notices and warning notices:

Announcement of 3rd year of teachers’ National Scholarship Fund:

The Handbook for the new round of the National Scholarship Fund for Teachers: – application deadline is 25 April

Plans to open The Free School Norwich (High School): – by the same people that brought you the primary school

Gove letter to Information Commissioner on release of free school data:  – not quite giving in gracefully…

A new set of FAQs about Advanced Skills Teachers (ASTs):



DfE review of Research Evidence on Writing: – concludes that there are still huge gaps in the evidence base

DfE is seeking EoIs in the Evaluation of Teaching Schools:

New DfE research on Pupils Not Claiming Free School Meals: – estimates 200,000 (14% of those eligible) don’t claim

There’s an interesting new Eurydice comparative report on Developing Key Competences at School in Europe:

Some of new Education Endowment Foundation grants seem rather bloated: – many beneficiaries are the usual suspects too

New DfE research too on the impact of pupil behaviour and well-being on educational outcomes:

New DfE research on students taking gap years: – they get better degrees but earn less at 30

Final report of DfE-commissioned research into L6 tests is due tomorrow. Contract here:

DfE research contract for study of progression of high-achieving pupils to HE also now published:

New DfE research review of literacy and numeracy catch-up strategies:

Direct link to new Jerrim/Vignoles paper: University Access for Disadvantaged Children: and PN:

CERP article by McNally on detracking plus link to full paper on impact of opening up NI grammar schools

Interesting new DfE research report on the impact of family circumstances and ‘stressors’ on pupil outcomes:

NEPC’s Annual Bunkum Awards for Truly Rotten Education Research (plus links to their reviews of the winners):



February 2013


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