The Gifted and Talented programme - Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by CfBT Education Trust


  As an experienced education service provider to governments worldwide CfBT understands the political environments in which national programmes develop and change. We also understand the practical implications of these changes and provide flexible design and delivery mechanisms to meet the needs of our clients.

  In the case of the YG&T programme we are acutely aware of the tension between the competing claims of excellence for some and equity for all. In designing and delivering the YG&T programme for the DCSF we have sought to increase access (City GATES) and provide challenge and stretch (Learner Academy).

  The programme has engaged with almost 340,000 G&T learners over three years. In addition we have designed and developed a programme of support for City Challenge schools and learners with the particular focus of supporting learners' progression to good universities. To date 3,042 attendees have benefited from this programme.

  We are disappointed that we shall no longer be working with the DCSF in the direct delivery of the Government's G&T policy but we believe that the successful legacy of our YG&T programme can be built upon for future learners.

  CfBT drew on its own empirical research and broad delivery experience in designing and delivering the YG&T programme. We shall continue to build upon and develop this far-reaching evidence for the benefit of all learners.

  This document details CfBT's design and delivery of the YG&T programme and its successes which I hope the Committee finds useful in its examination of the programme.


  This timeline shows major events and activities in the YG&T programme from its inception with CfBT to closure in 2010.

Dec 06
Bid for NPGATE contract


Mar 07
Contract awarded

April 07
Management of NPGATE programme commences

May 07
Expressions of interest and tendering for suppliers to the new Learner Academy

May to Aug 07
Transition from NAGTY to YG&T. Pilot planned for CfBT-designed credits scheme

Aug 07
Soft launch of YG&T at World Conference for Gifted & Talented Education (Warwick University)

Sep 07
YG&T website launched

Oct 07
Welcome letter to all former NAGTY members. DCSF concludes credit scheme cannot go ahead

Nov 07
Catalogue of "out-of-classroom" provision available on website
Appointment of National Champion for G&T—John Stannard
Strategic Thinking Forum established

Dec 07
CfBT asked to design City GATES Programme working with City Challenge areas Greater Manchester, London and the Black Country


Jan 08
CfBT asked to design a National Register and Online Analysis Tool

Apr 08
Schools-led membership launched—validation of membership by teaching staff
City GATES programme initiated

May 08
Major communications campaign—information pack to heads of all maintained schools, stock of programme membership packs to all LA G&T leads

Jun 08
National Register consultations with teacher focus groups and LAs

Jul 08
City GATES pilot commences
YG&T information pack to heads of Independent schools

Aug 08
City GATES programme launched in London & Greater Manchester

CfBT recruits full-time Regional Coordinators for each of the City Gates areas

Sep 08
YG&T magazines for learners launched

Oct 08
City GATES programme launched in the Black Country
Launch of YG&T competition for G&T lead teachers


Jan 09
Eco Builder online learning tool for KS3 launched
YG&T promoted at BETT, England's largest education technology show
City GATES networking events for G&T leads held in the Black Country and Greater Manchester

Feb 09
National Register launched
YG&T website refreshed with new Primary and Secondary pages

Mar 09
Funding for second round of commissioning withdrawn

Jun 09
Professional team given notice of redundancy

May 09
City GATES Needs Analysis Tool improved

Jun 09
CfBT given notice of YG&T contract termination
YG&T Online Study Groups and Discussion Forums closed
John Stannard speech about the "New Direction" at London Regional Partnership conference
City GATES networking event for G&T leads held in London
City GATES programme DVD launched

Jul 09
Decision to discontinue YG&T magazines
Sep 09National Register Online Analysis Tool launched
City GATES Progression Academy packs sent to schools
City GATES newsletter "Make your Mark" launched
City GATES Parents' Booklet launched
YG&T transition programme began

Dec 09
CfBT made aware that City Gates and Progression Academies will cease 31 March 2010


Jan 10
YG&T consultation process for programme closure began
Notice of programme closure posted to YG&T website

Feb 10
Website closed 12 Feb
    —  Online Needs Analysis Tool no longer available
    —  National Register no longer available
    —  Online booking for Progression Academies no longer available

Mar 10
Last Progression Academy takes place on 26 March
Helpline closes 29 March
YG&T Programme closes 31 March


  CfBT Education Trust was contracted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to design and deliver the Young, Gifted and Talented (YG&T) programme, formerly referred to as the National Programme for Gifted and Talented education (NPGATE), in 2007.

  The Government's procurement of its gifted and talented provision came at the end of the University of Warwick's contract to deliver the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY).

  The new YG&T programme was very different to that previously delivered through NAGTY and aimed to provide opportunities for those children and young people aged 4-19 identified as gifted and talented in order to deepen and develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas in which they excel and support them in reaching the limits of their potential.

  The YG&T programme consisted of two particular strands:

    — A Core Programme based on an interactive website, the Learner Academy. G&T pupils would be included on a National Register. They would each have a modest "credit" to spend on services.[8]

    — Regional Partnerships and Excellence Hubs, incorporating groups of HE institutions.


  The central element of the core programme delivery was the Learner Academy the "virtual academy"—an online resource and access point for workshops and courses for learners, teachers and providers delivering a programme of G&T accredited activities designed to aid progression and encourage self-motivation.

  The Ministerial Task Force set CfBT a target of recruiting 250,000 members to the Learner Academy. And, despite active marketing to recruit members being stopped in September 2009 membership of the Learner Academy stands at 229,854 learners. An additional 107,000 former NAGTY members also have been transferred to the Academy.

  Since November 2008 there have been more than 1.9 million visitors to the Learner Academy. Almost 0.5 million of these have been accessing secondary resources and a further 300,000 accessing primary resources. The most popular resources have been the secondary and primary home pages, discussion forums and the Classroom and Institutional Quality Standards tools.

  Through the Learner Academy there were:

    — 15 online study groups.

    — 10 moderated discussion forums.

    — 15 faculty cafés.

  Feedback through the forums and faculty cafés shows that both were highly regarded by learners as places to meet and share ideas with other like-minded young people. These online facilities were discontinued in June 2009.

  Access to opportunities is also available through:

    — 82 accredited providers covering all curriculum subjects, both academic and vocational, including arts and sports delivered on a local, regional and national basis.

    — 431 events in 2009 with 29,588 places made available by these providers for learners.

  From September 2008 a termly primary and secondary magazine were produced for learners available through the Learner Academy and in hard copy on request. These magazines stopped publication at the end of the summer term 2009.


  There are 10 Regional Partnerships, one in each of the nine government regions and one to cover rural areas. They are a consortium of local authorities who receive funding from the YG&T programme in order to create provision at a local and regional level.

  For example:

    — The North East Regional Partnership offered 10 events for 300 Year 1-6 pupils in seven different venues.

    — West Midlands continue to develop their highly successful Publishing House Me website for learners to showcase and critique each other's work.


  The YG&T Helpline provided an informed point of contact for all stakeholders (learners, parents, teachers, providers, etc) to feedback and ask questions. Since September 2007 there have been more then 44,000 contacts with the Helpline by telephone and email.


  The YG&T programme also funded and facilitated a wide number of partnerships supporting gifted and talented learners including:

    — Teach First (Higher Education Access Programme—HEAPS).

    — National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) contributed to the development of the parental booklet for City GATES and supported parent enquiries through the YG&T website.

    — National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE)—developed the City GATES Needs Analysis Tool.

    — Centre for Urban Education (CUE), Manchester Metropolitan University—established and managed a series of "Focus" groups and "Action Research" teams.

    — Crelos—providing tutors and tutor training for Progression Academies.

    — Social Mobility Foundation (SMF)—delivering pre-internship inductions, internships and mentoring initially in law, to 50 learners (starting November 2007) initially in London and now nationally.

    — University of Wolverhampton—to provide a Regional Coordinator for City GATES in the Black Country.


  When the DCSF decided that the national credit scheme could not go ahead, an attempt was made to retain the concept of an individual credit scheme for a more targeted and limited group. CfBT designed City GATES which became part of the wider City Challenge Programme focused on breaking the cycle of disadvantage and educational underachievement in three areas: London, the Black Country and Manchester.

  City GATES began in September 2008 and aims to:

    — Increase aspirations amongst G&T learners aged 14-19 (Yrs 10-13) in the three areas.

    — Increase progression to higher education (particularly to the most competitive universities and courses).

    — Narrow the attainment gap for students from challenging backgrounds.

    — Ensure every educational institution has a Higher Education partner.

  The cornerstone of the City GATES programme is the provision of a £400 scholarship for each pupil identified as G&T from a disadvantaged background (eligible for Free School Meals). CfBT was set a target of reaching 1,500 learners and during 2009-10 £630,800 was given in scholarships which equates to 1,577 learners in 322 schools.

  These scholarships have been spent on:

    — Progression Academy workshops.

    — University access programmes.

    — Materials, books and local activities.

    — Mentoring, coaching and subject specific tuition.

    — Travel and accommodation expenses.

  Schools and learners have commented that scholarships have made a substantial difference to quality of lives, aspirations and motivation.

  To date, City GATES has worked with 47 local authorities in total: 33 in London, four in the Black Country and 10 in Greater Manchester.


  The Online Needs Analysis Tool is available through the Learner Academy for all G&T learners to indentify their strengths and weaknesses and areas for development to enable them to apply for university. 4,000 learners have used the tool since September 2008. Access to the Online Needs Analysis Tool ceased on 12 February 2010.


  Progression Academies provide out of school provision providing intense focused tutoring and mentoring in a range of skills including motivation, critical thinking, independent learning, communication and social skills to support progression to university. The first one ran in January 2009 and to date 195 workshops, based on a series of 10 modules, with 3,042 learners attending and 167 schools engaged, have been delivered. Some modules will not be delivered as they were scheduled for summer 2010 and Progression Academies will stop in March 2010.

  As a result of attending Progression Academies:

    — 97% of learners feel more motivated.

    — 97% of learners feel more ambitious.

    — 94% of learners feel more inclined to try for a place at university.


  City GATES has established and embedded links with universities in each of the Challenge areas through Regional Coordinators who focus on embedding City GATES in schools, and direct G&T leads to bespoke provision in their area. Regional Coordinators are able to respond to individual needs. CfBT employed four Regional Coordinators.

  It is too early for a summative evaluation of City GATES however evidence and feedback suggests that the programme is having a significant impact.


  The YG&T programme funds nine Excellence Hubs (in the nine government regions) which are partnerships of 36 universities who are working with local authorities and schools across their regions. They deliver resources and support for G&T learners in the form of out-of-school master-classes, residential summer schools, workshops and university visits aimed to challenge and inspire G&T learners.

  In 2009-10 the Excellence Hubs will deliver services, events and mentoring to approximately 43,500 G&T learners in primary, secondary and further education.
Primary½ day workshop on quantum mechanics
Science workshop and lab activity
1 day Shakespeare workshop

Fibonacci fun day
1 day art masterclass
6 day summer school for five subjects

FE—6th Form Y12 & 13
3 day art and design summer school
5 day science summer school
Spectroscopy and synthesis
Polymer chemistry and nanotechnology

  Anecdotal evidence indicates that in some areas the Excellence Hubs have been highly successful:

    — Some universities are receiving up to 10% of applications from local young people.

    — Significantly enhanced relationships between schools and universities.

    — Universities have become more responsive to schools' needs, doubling opportunities in the last three years.

    — Schools and local authorities have welcomed targets towards children in care and receiving free school meals.

    — Teachers are clear that universities can enhance support for G&T pupils, by exposing them to challenging academic environments and new ideas.

    — Research shows the significant contribution universities can make to nurturing bright pupils particularly those facing adversity.


  The National Register was developed as part of the YG&T core programme and is a database of information about schools and learners identified as being G&T within any given local authority.

  As part of the National Register an online analysis tool was developed, which enables local authorities to make year-on-year comparisons and analyses by phase, gender, ethnicity and FSM which informs G&T provision planning. The National Register is regularly used by schools and local authorities for reporting, planning and monitoring the G&T cohort. In 2009 more than 12,000 visitors used the facility.

February 2010

8   This element of the programme was later replaced by City GATES. Back

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