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should G&T be considered a Special Educational Need (SEN)

(172 Posts)
oneforward20back Mon 15-Jun-09 22:35:24

Starts thread and takes cover!

oneforward20back Mon 15-Jun-09 22:38:46

Not trolling -genuinely interested on peoples opinions and am aware this is contriversial. please try to keep it gentle.

Our school has this opinion and thinks that this should be provided for as such.

Goblinchild Mon 15-Jun-09 22:46:51

When I started teaching, G & T were on the SEN register in my first school. You had to show that you were meeting their needs and challenging them, rather than just giving them more work than the rest of the class.
That was over two decades ago, so it's horribly out of fashion and date now.

oneforward20back Mon 15-Jun-09 22:48:00

yes but should it be?

SecretSlattern Mon 15-Jun-09 22:51:09

I think it should be. If a child is gifted or talented in a particular area, surely they would have an educational need to be challenged in order to make progress?

I hate the negative connotations surrounding SEN, ie there must be something developmentally "wrong" for a child to be considered SEN when, to my mind, a G&T child would equally have a need to be stretched.

Goblinchild Mon 15-Jun-09 22:53:27

Do you mean planned for specifically, funded, opportunities for small group or 1:1 teaching?
Reaching out to specialists who can help the teacher create interesting and stimulating activities for one gifted child of the 30 in class?
Recognising that being gifted is challenging for the child and making reasonable provision for them?
or should you hold them back so their peers don't see them flying and get jealous? Or the parents of their peers?
What do you think people will find controversial exactly?

pickyvic Mon 15-Jun-09 22:57:01

and typically i was expecting this thread to contain references to gin and tonic.

hi goblin! its meeeee! im sorry for lowering the tone - i should have known it wouldnt be anything to do with gin and tonic shouldnt i? lol!
how are you hun! hugs!! (see ive brought a bit of the old place with me!)

sorry to the op....ive no idea, ill get me coat now!

Goblinchild Mon 15-Jun-09 23:00:09

vic, in your case I would have thought that a gin and tonic would be a special need, if not for educational purposes. smile
Hugz back at you.

cory Mon 15-Jun-09 23:08:12

It depends on what the implications are, how funding is going to be allocated etc. I would be very sorry if any funding were diverted away from children with severe learning difficulties to help my gifted dd who, frankly, doesn't need anybody's help to keep herself interested in learning.

Would not be happy if money was spent on keeping her stimulated rather than on keeping the autistic boy from hurting himself or the girl with Downs from being unable to make any progress at all. Being gifted and without social disabilities, she has far more choice than they do.

I would also be extremely angry if money that could be spent on her actual disability- helping her with aids and accessbility so that she can get through her school day without overwhelming pain- got spent on stimulating her because she is gifted instead.

She can decide not to act up and to work in her spare time if she is bored. But she can't decide about the pain. If the school doesn't help her with that, she will be unable to learn and may do herself irreparable damage.

But if money can be found from another source (MPs expenses) then that's fine by me. I just don't want any of the money currently spent on serious learning difficulties diverted as I know how difficult it is to get that to stretch and how those parents have to fight to get adequate help. I could never look my friend in the eye if that was being spent on my dd for being gifted instead.

cornsilk Mon 15-Jun-09 23:10:16

No because G and T children are not vulnerable in the way that many SEN children are. It's a different need and requires a different label.

pickyvic Mon 15-Jun-09 23:13:32

oh yes! thankyou! goblinchild i like the cut of your gib...wink

think im generally on the same wavelength.

(but a g&t wouldnt go amiss just now)!

paisleyleaf Mon 15-Jun-09 23:20:07

I read the OP and thought 'why should it not be'?
But reading Cory's post, there's obviously more to it than I understand.
Would pain relief/aids etc not come from health authority budget rather than the education authority.

oneforward20back Mon 15-Jun-09 23:27:02

grin at suggested use of MPs expenses!

Ds has behavioural issues with link to IQ. Not sure High IQ with behavioural issues of SN type or SN behavioural issues being covered by high IQ. This might be why consider SEN for him.

Agree heartedly about allocation of funding to SN kids but if funding wasn't an issue?

oneforward20back Mon 15-Jun-09 23:29:41

Also agree with cory about the emphasis balance.

Paisleyleaf - i think that there can be support issues relating to pain that might require additional help/strategies and whilst the drugs come out of health care budget the support is education funds.

cory Mon 15-Jun-09 23:50:48

For dd, pain relief is about things like having access to a laptop for school work so she doesn't overstrain her joints, having the right sort of chair to sit on in class, the right kind of pen and pencil grip, and a tilted writing surface etc etc. So it does come from the SN fund, not the health authority. Sorry, should have made myself more clear. (her condition means pain killers don't work anyway, so she is cheap to run for the NHS).

Would add that in cases where children combine G&T with social problems, I am all for supporting them. This is precisely the sort of thing SEN funding should cover.

But I am sometimes a bit hmm at posts on this forum suggesting that all gifted children find giftedness a problem and need extra consideration.

I know people who combine giftedness with highly developed social skills and an ability to learn independently- I wouldn't say they would be high priorities for funding in my book.

snorkle Mon 15-Jun-09 23:51:55

There are good arguments both for and against this. My view is that since G&T seems to be a fairly broad group (up to top 10%) then probably not as I think they should be challenged in the normal classroom and to allocate extra resources to them seems rather unfair on those that miss out. If G&T was rather more exceptional then there would be a stronger need.

But since provision for G&T is virtually zero in many cases anyway the point is rather moot.

Quattrocento Mon 15-Jun-09 23:55:41

It's on threads like this that I really miss Martianbishop - who was invariably wise.

She said one thing which really stuck with me - which is that truly gifted and talented children self-start and self-motivate - it's their hallmark.

So no, I don't think so

annoyedmum Tue 16-Jun-09 00:08:11

Surely all children have special or unique needs

oneforward20back Tue 16-Jun-09 00:09:10

So if i am understanding it the general consensus is that it is not the G&T its self that merits the possible SEN title it would be the secondary side effects - eg behavioural /emotional issues that need the support and can merit the title SEN.

On the other hand the general G&T policy needs more effective implementation

Quattrocento - that explains ds -he is obsessive about learning, which drives me mad grin fed up of rescuing salt and sugar from his disolving experiments and looking forward to being literate so can extract info he is searching for himself.

cory Tue 16-Jun-09 00:10:12

This may be true, Quattro, depending on how you define truly gifted. Doesn't in itself prove that there isn't also another category of children with high IQs that might actually need some help.

cory Tue 16-Jun-09 00:14:17

annoyedmum, yes of course they do, but Special Needs in an educational context is a phrase used of children who are likely to need more support than most children- for things like learning difficulties or behavioural difficulties. One couldn't exactly argue that just because everyone is unique it follows that every child will need as much funding/1:1 support etc as a non-verbal paraplegic child.

Shells Tue 16-Jun-09 01:21:35

Agree with cory.

jabberwocky Tue 16-Jun-09 01:28:48

YEs, I think it should be considered thusly (Special Needs).

We are in the US and some states do actually put G&T under special needs. Hopefully this thinking will catch on.

ciderose Tue 16-Jun-09 07:54:42

I think it's only a special need if the child also has social and behavioural difficulties. My dd1 is gifted but has also just got a statement for 20 hours

DadAtLarge Tue 16-Jun-09 09:10:26

G&T isn't a SEN - SEN is a political term and has a very specific meaning: learning difficulties or physical disabilities. That's it.

"Would not be happy if money was spent on keeping her stimulated rather than on keeping the autistic boy from hurting himself or the girl with Downs from being unable to make any progress at all. Being gifted and without social disabilities"

cory, this is something we've discussed before and I've agreed with you but let's step back a minute - it's not an either/or choice. Yes, yes, there are limited resources but schools have to cater for both categories adequately. I would be against excessive money being spent on the "autistic boy" at the expense of G&T kids without due consideration being given to the needs of individual gifted children which, in some cases, could exceed that of a particular autistic boy.

"No because G and T children are not vulnerable in the way that many SEN children are. It's a different need and requires a different label. "

You're wrong about vulnerability, I'm afraid. It's a generalisation that, unfortunately, even teachers make. Some gifted children are more vulnerable that many SEN children ... and you'd be surprised at how similar many of the vulnerabilities are. The DCSF recognises this and advises teachers about it.

"It's on threads like this that I really miss Martianbishop - who was invariably wise.
She said one thing which really stuck with me - which is that truly gifted and talented children self-start and self-motivate - it's their hallmark."

I don't know who Martianbishop is but I can point to a lot of experts who disagree. They (and the DCSF/Primary Framework/National Strategies/G&T programme) promote early identification of giftedness because such children need to be challenged, monitored and helped to excel. Leaving these children to their own devices is condemning them to a life of plodding along at someone else's pace, hiding their abilities, losing interest in the subject, having low expectations...

Many may be self-starters but even those can be hammered into compliant plodding by uninspired teachers. As cory says, many of them need help (the children, I mean. Though some teachers have that need too). Arguing that all of them are self-starters sounds like an excuse some teachers would use to not provide adequately for them.

Not all gifted children - certainly not the entire top 10% - need specialist catering for their giftedness, but some certainly have very special needs.

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