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Role of the GATE Coordinator

A GATE Coordinator is an essential position in a school. Ideally, a GATE Team works alongside the Coordinator and this team would include a member of Senior Management. It is very important that the GATE Coordinator is well supported by Senior Management and that he/she has the authority to move things forward throughout the school.

The role of the GATE Coordinator is to support gifted students to reach their full potential. Catering for these special needs students requires a whole school approach in which there needs to be a person who is the ‘key player’ in tracking and supporting them. The GATE Coordinator will need appropriate professional learning to help them perform their role.

The GATE Team is responsible for developing s job description in response to the school’s unique needs. In general the role of the coordinator is to support and challenge his/her colleagues to provide appropriate learning opportunities and support for these special needs students.

In her report of Sustainability of Gifted Education Programmes in Auckland Secondary Schools, Larnder (2010 p. 16-17) identified four main implications of her research on what makes an effective GATE Programme:

  • Schools need to have a GATE team headed by a coordinator who has both a time allocation and monetary reward. The allocation of money and time to the position gives it a value within the school structure and other staff members see that the school places a value on the role. The role becomes another pathway that teachers may pursue to gain promotion.
  • GATE needs to operate within a facility or department if it is to be ‘effective’. GATE programmes that are not part of either learning support or directly coordinated within subject/facility areas were not ranked as ‘effective’ by those schools in which GATE operated as a satellite to other leaning areas in the school.
  • GATE programmes have the support of the senior management within a school. As White states: “The establishment of a key team is crucial. Its members should include at least one member of the school management team who has gifted education as part of his/her portfolio” (White 2008, p5)
  • Professional development remains one of the keys to both growth and sustainability of gifted programmes within schools.

A GATE Coordinator needs: 

  • A job description and profile that is understood by all staff.
  • The support of school Leadership and BoT.
  • A time allocation to perform duties as well as time for reading, planning and PLD.
  • A leadership role in the school. 

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