Howard Cooper says we shouldn’t refer to children as gifted or talented as this is elitest. The following newspaper article, written by James Tozer explains…
CLEVER children should not be called gifted or talented as it `suggests exclusiveness’, an education chief has told his staff.
Instead, according to the edict from Howard Cooper, they should be referred to as ‘very able, with specific gifts or talents’.
The order came in a report by the director of education at Labour-led Wirral Council on Merseyside.
Introducing his conclusions, Mr Cooper wrote: ‘The most significant amendment concerns terminology, with a movement away from the term “gifted and talented” because of its suggestion of exclusiveness and relatively narrow scope.
`The recommended alternative term for the cohort of pupils to whom this document applies is “very able, with specific gifts and talents”, to be shortened for ease of use to “very able”.
Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, criticised the edict for portraying achievement as elitist and some-thing to be frowned upon.
‘This is another example of the highly damaging egalitarian ethos which maintains that no one should be more successful than anyone else,’ he said.
‘It shows there is still a politically correct philosophy in they educational establishment which believes that by banning certain words, it can change the way people think.
‘Instead, we should be telling schools that one of their most important tasks should be to identify pupils’ gifts and nurture them – that’s nothing to be ashamed of.’
One child whose ability has not been hampered by concerns over ‘exclusivity’ is Mikhail Ali, from Bramley, West Yorkshire. At the age of three, he has recorded an
IQ of 137 to become Mensa’s youngest member.
The Wirral proposal appears to contradict official Labour policy under which the Department for Education has a Gifted and Talented Unit.
This aims to help clever children, particularly from inner-city schools, achieve their potential.
Well, Mr Cooper, it is all relative really, isn’t it?
A friend of mine who is a local school teacher was telling me about an awkward illiterate Father that she had been having problems with. His son, at the school has not done very well and managed only to get two GCSEs (C Grade). Most of us, Mr Cooper, could hardly call the poor boy gifted. But this is where “relative” comes into the equation.
I mean, compared with you, Mr Cooper, and the remarks you have recently made, as detailed above, this boy is extremely able and gifted and talented. Do you understand now what is meant by “relative”? It wasn’t your sister as you probably first thought.