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I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.

- Socrates

Responsibilities of the GATE Coordinator

Cathcart (2010) outlines the following responsibilities in her book Gifted Programming Made Practical. 

The GATE coordinator is the person who takes responsibility for all aspects of gifted provision throughout the school. As part of his or her comprehensive job, the fully fledged coordinator: 

  • guides the development of a sound research-based school policy to support gifted provision
  • makes sure the school is using a comprehensive multi-method identification process which is consistent with best practice and which takes account of the nature of their particular community (eg, taking into consideration steps that might be needed for different cultural groups in that community)
  • maintains a “register” which keeps track of what happens for individual gifted learners once they have been identified – what provision is made for them from year to year, how they respond to this, any additional special needs they may have, and so on
  • ensures parents are kept informed and are consulted about what is happening for their children
  • makes recommendations for specific children about class placement, the use or otherwise of acceleration, inclusion in withdrawal programmes, etc, and, when appropriate, sets up and oversees IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for individual children – in other words, any specialised action that needs to be taken to make sure the child’s learning needs are adequately met
  • liaises with the school’s professional development committee to ensure PD relating to gifted learners forms part of the school’s on-going PD cycle, and ensures teachers are kept informed about one-off events of special interest such as conferences in this field
  • works with individual teachers to support their provision for gifted learners in the regular classroom situation – this could be helping with planning, doing a classroom observation, working with the child in the classroom, etc.
  • works with syndicate or department heads and with groups of teachers to bring differentiation into routine planning for classroom lessons, so that there’s always some provision for these children in all major topics
  • organises and teaches (or may also teach) withdrawal groups of gifted learners
  • manages the gifted budget and where necessary, presents the case for funding increases or adjustments; acquires resources and manages their use and storage
  • undertakes a regular review of gifted provision throughout the school
  • keeps management and the school board well informed about the status of the school’s provision for gifted learners, any achievements, and any emerging needs or other factors to be taken into account
  • maintains his or her own on-going professional development in this field through: courses, networking, reading and conference attendance.
  • organises regular self-review and evaluation (insert link to evaluation and self review page) of the school’s gifted and talented provision.