Back in September I wrote to the Department for Education (DfE) expressing our disappointment at the cancellation of the Future Talent Fund and requesting a meeting to share Potential Plus UK’s experience and vision. Last week saw the publication of a report commissioned by the DfE on Approaches to supporting academically able, disadvantaged pupils and we have been invited to discuss its findings with the department today.

The report is based on research that took place in the spring and summer terms of 2017 – 2018. Its stated aim is to identify what secondary schools were doing to support disadvantaged high attaining pupils.

The research included:

  • a survey to understand the types of support provided by schools
  • interviews and case study work in schools with established support in place.

Potential Plus UK is considering the report in relation to its stated aim, but also in the context of our experience of the wider implications of effective identification and meaningful provision for high potential learners, regardless of background or age.

We have also consulted with our member schools that have adopted our Best Practice Award to get their views on the practical aspects of the report; what would work well, where further improvements could be made and the appropriate support that Potential Plus UK could provide. We already have several programmes that would aid the identification of, and provision for, high potential learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, including:

  • Assessment of children for their potential as well as their attainment
  • Professional development for teachers to aid identification and provision, both in and out of the classroom
  • Mentoring schemes to understand, support and inspire high potential learners
  • Parental support to develop the understanding and nurturing of potential within the home environment.

We will keep you posted!

Julie Taplin
Chief Executive
Potential Plus UK