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Key questions


A defensible rationale statement should tie in with the overall philosophy of the school.


A school must first arrive at a definition of gifted and talented to provide the basis for identification and programme planning.

Who will co-ordinate the programme in the school? Programmes have more chance of enduring when:

  • there is a team approach to co-ordination
  • the team includes a member of the school's senior management
  • the programme is 'owned' by the school community - this involves consultation that reflects the different interest groups in the school.


From the beginning it is important to set achievable and realistic goals and objectives - not only to set the direction of a school's efforts but also to provide criteria against which efforts can be evaluated. Many schools have discovered the value of undertaking a gap analysis as a starting point. Gap analysis can also help determine what should be included in a programme of staff professional development.


The appropriateness of where gifted and talented students are best provided for - for example a separate class, a withdrawal programme or ability and cluster grouping can be addressed once a school has addressed the why, who and what questions.

How and when?

A plan of action can detail how objectives will be met. This plan can include a time frame (short and long term) identifying when things will happen. A school also needs to ask the question of how any new initiatives will be resourced.

How programmes will be evaluated is an important part of initial planning process. New Zealand schools need to systematically and rigorously assess the effectiveness of their endeavours in this area.

Ongoing school-wide review of all aspects of gifted education provision is vital. Formal reviews of programme effectiveness take into account the views of stakeholders including teachers, senior managers and support staff, parents and whānau, students, and the wider community. A variety of methods may be used to gather data, such as document analysis, classroom observations, parent questionnaires, student evaluations, and focus group discussions.

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