For some time, Potential Plus UK has known that we, as a user-led organisation, should be advocating for the needs and rights of our young people with high learning potential, and for improvements to policy and practice in education and in society.

Over recent months we have been exploring collaborations with other organisations that are aligned with our vision. Last week, at our instigation, colleagues from The Potential Trust, Potential Plus UK, nasen, NACE and Mensa met together to discuss how to improve the educational experience and wellbeing of young people with high learning potential, including those with other additional needs. Our discussions were enriched by the true stories of parents and individuals with lived experience of the damage and heartache caused by an education that isn’t adapted appropriately for these young people, and the subsequent impact on their well-being. Margaret Sutherland, Professor of High Ability Studies and Inclusive Practice at the University of Glasgow, provided insightful reflections on the discussions.

The resulting agreement between all of the participants was to campaign together to effect the change necessary to ensure the rights of these young people are met within the education system in England and Wales. The aim is to work towards launching the campaign in Spring 2024. Change may not happen quickly or easily, but all colleagues are determined to collaborate together to start the process.

Julie Taplin
Potential Plus UK Chief Executive