It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and my former Education and Training Committee colleagues following today’s announcement of a new strategy for gifted and talented education, Aiming High: A strategy for gifted and talented children and young people, 2014–19.
The strategy responds to the findings and recommendations of the Parliament of Victoria’s Inquiry into the Education of Gifted and Talented Students (2012) of which I was the Chair and outlines eighteen actions to be implemented over 2014–19 to support Victoria’s gifted and talented children and young people.
As part of implementation of the strategy, $1.2 million will be provided for educational and community organisations to develop and deliver high-quality extension programs for gifted and talented students. Funding will be provided for selective entry high schools to provide outreach activities, including mentoring, for younger gifted and talented students across Victoria. The strategy also commits to provide professional learning in gifted and talented education for early childhood professionals and teachers.
Work is already underway to strengthen gifted and talented education. In 2013, the Department released Making a Difference for Young Gifted and Talented Children. This resource provides early childhood professionals with information and resources to help identify and provide learning opportunities for young gifted and talented children (from infancy to eight years old) and their families.
A Gifted and Talented Education Expert Reference Group has also been established to provide advice on the development of resources to be released as part of the implementation of Aiming High.
The Victorian Coalition is committed to providing all children and young people, including the gifted and talented, with an education that is engaging, challenging and helps them reach their full potential.
Gifted and talented children and young people have outstanding potential or ability in one or more of a range of areas, such as literacy, numeracy, sport, music, fine or performing arts, a vocational area or leadership. While their ability is exceptional compared to their age-peers, gifted and talented children and young people, like all young people, need to be encouraged, challenged and inspired.