New support package for gifted learners

Funding for one-day schools is part of a new $1.27 million package of support for gifted education that starts this term, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. 

The Minister announced the package today at MindPlus East, a one-day school for gifted learners, hosted at Riverina School in Pakuranga, Auckland.

“This new funding means more gifted students will be able to access one day schools,” Minister Martin said.

One-day schools bring gifted children together for one day each week, so they can engage in different types of challenging and strength-based learning with others like them. There are currently 450 children enrolled in 34 classes across New Zealand.

“Six extra teachers have already joined the one-day school team so far this term, to meet the growing demand”, Ms Martin says. “Remote communities are seeking more classes, and the new funding has allowed one-day schools to strengthen their infrastructure and prepare for growth.

“To give easy access to the new package of support for students and teachers, the gifted website -  Gifted website: https://gifted.tki.org.nz/ - has also been refreshed.

The Minister said restoring support and funding for gifted education is a priority for this Government. “It is estimated that up to 40,000 learners are gifted in New Zealand.

“Gifted learners and notions of giftedness are diverse, both within and across cultures, and so the package of supports we’re offering is not a one size fits all.

“The package also includes new awards that will challenge and extend gifted students, by enabling them to complete a particular project or activity in areas that may be quite different from their usual learning.

“The awards are for school-aged learners or groups of learners who are gifted or have exceptional abilities.  Applications open today and close on 24 March, with decisions expected in April.  There will be a second round of awards later this year.

“Other components of the package include:

  •  A programme of events, experiences and opportunities specifically for gifted learners.  The new programme of events will be announced in March
  • Strengthened guidance for teachers and kaiako, which will be released later this month
  • Expansion of online learning modules

The Ministry of Education developed the package and consults regularly with a group of expert researchers and practitioners on gifted education.  This group will also assist with monitoring how well the package is meeting the needs of gifted learners. 

The draft Learning Support Action Plan highlights the need to provide more and better learning supports for gifted learners. This new package will support gifted learners and those with exceptional abilities. It will increase the range of opportunities for gifted learners to build on their strengths and aspirations, to experience success, wellbeing, and have access to better support and connections. 

More information about the new package is available on the Gifted website.