Excellence East Networks for Able, Gifted and Talented Provision

                                                                                                         c/o Fulbridge School   Keeton Road



September 2012

Excellence East Networks for Able, Gifted and Talented Provision

Changes to government policy and the downsizing of local authority services have reduced the support available to schools that are committed to developing and improving their provision for able, gifted and talented pupils. In the light of these changes, there is the expectation, within the Ofsted Framework, that schools will work together in partnership groups to share expertise and promote professional development. 

Excellence East believes that schools meeting together in local self-help networks provides the best way forward at this time. We are aware that many schools have belonged to such groups in the past and that some groups are still running. We are also aware, however, that the organisation and chairing of group meetings is an additional responsibility for already busy colleagues.

Excellence EastTrustees have, therefore, decided to prioritise the growth and development of teacher networks in the region. Trustees view this as the most appropriate way of supporting schools and teachers, and thereby benefitting highly able pupils. Meetings are facilitated by an Excellence East consultant and aim to provide an opportunity for new learning and to share practice and issues.

We have supported a number of networks over the last year at no cost to those attending. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to introduce an annual fee for network membership from January 1st 2013 in order to cover the costs of the consultant and thereby enable the meetings to be self-sustaining. 

We therefore offer the following scheme to support schools to meet and develop their practice further.

What are Excellence East Network Meetings?

         These are termly meetings held in local schools that are aimed at all teachers interested in the education of able gifted and talented pupils and in providing greater challenge in the classroom.

         Groupings are flexible. For example, groups could be all primary, all secondary, a mix of phases, or one or more secondary schools with their feeder primaries.  

What is their purpose?

         To enable teachers to develop their own practice by sharing practice, ideas and resources with like-minded colleagues

         To provide a problem solving forum to discuss issues of mutual concern and seek common solutions that build on the experience of the group

         To enable colleagues to maintain an up to date knowledge of national and local developments in the education of able, gifted and talented pupils

         To provide an opportunity to ask for specific advice and to receive inputs from a specialist facilitator on themes chosen by the group

What do the network meetings provide?

         Cost-effective professional development

         Three twilight meetings per year to which two teachers from each school may attend

         At least one resource to take away that can be used in class

         An opportunity to set the agenda of the meetings to ensure that colleagues own needs and interests are addressed

Who coordinates the network meetings?

         An Excellence East consultant will facilitate and chair the meetings, organise the venues, prepare agendas and circulate notes and resources from the meeting

What does membership of the network meetings cost?

         From January 2013, there is an annual fee of 100 for attending the three meetings, payable in advance

         Membership qualifies schools to a reduced fee to the biannual Excellence East regional CPD meetings

Next steps

Please contact one of the following Excellence East colleagues to register your interest in belonging to a network.  We will then get back to you with dates and venues for the three meetings, and send an invoice for the fee.

We need a minimum of 10 members for each group to be viable.

John Carter:  john1carter@onetel.com

Sandra Howard: sandratvh@gmail.com


Linda Prestidge: linda.prestidge@btinternet.com

Trish Hardy:  trish.hardy01@gmail.com

Excellence East Network Meeting - Sample Agenda June 2012

1.       Input

         Primary School input on how the school had moved planning forward with an emphasis on planning Learning to Learn.

2.       Updates

         The new Ofsted arrangements and how they affect the teaching of more able students.

         Evaluating gifted and talented education - the school improvement partners role in engaging the school guidelines to support schools to evaluate their own provision

         Curriculum Review Panel Report

         New guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage

3.       Practical Resources

         Major focus for classroom activity and resources: A Mystery Strategy

         Reference also to:  Storybird online publishing and making tags with Blooms questions to help students and teachers ask Higher Order Questions.

Supporting children and young people of high ability in the East of England

Published: 17th September 2012

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