In February 2002 the English Department of Education began the pilot programme called the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (aka NAGTY). With an office staff of three members and a budget of £10 million they set about founding a Summer school
held at the University of Warwick
much like that of the Center for Talented Youth
of Johns Hopkins University
This Academy, also known as NAGTY, has been set up to encourage and challenge young students of exceptional academic and artistic ability. Entry requirements this year have been based on references sent in by the students' teachers as well as their SAT results. These students, 100 in total, represent the top 5%, mostly the top 1%, of talented and gifted students in England. This year six subjects have been offered (Drama, Mathematics, Philosophy, Environmental Science, Chemistry and Creative Writing), but it is hoped that next year with the extension to campuses in York, Durham and London, other subjects shall be available. It runs for three weeks, and for most secondary level students it begins the week after Summer break up.
Although this year no fees were paid by their families, in years to come entrants shall be means tested, and those of able means shall be expected to pay the full fee (as yet undecided) whilst those of lesser means shall receive aid of some form.
The setting up of this scheme has caused waves in the Parliament, but it is argued that if the government is willing to pay out for kids with disabilites why then hold back the high achievers in an education system that could be to these students' detriment. (As my Mom has always said "the Devil makes work for idle hands and minds").