Stay up to date with the latest news from NACE – including policy bites, research developments, teaching resources, CPD opportunities, and national competitions.
Contact us to share a relevant news story.
April, 2017

Enrichment, guidance & support

Video: Jiang May Cowper reads her runner-up poem
Eight-year-old Jiang May Cowper, at Ascot’s The Marist School, has been named a runner-up in the primary category of the NACE Poetry Competition 2016/17.

Titled “A Brand New Home”, Jiang May’s poem was inspired by her experience of moving from China to the UK, to start a new life with a new family. She said writing about the experience made her feel emotional, but she was glad to have an opportunity to tell her story.

Judge Liz Kessler commented: “I loved the simplicity of Jiang's poem, and the way that through the simple experience of a child, some incredibly important and timely observations were made.”

All of the winning and shortlisted entries can be viewed in a free e-book created by education publishers Rising Stars, available here.

Scroll down for a video of Jiang May reading her poem.
NACE Poetry Competition 2016/17 Results Announced
The NACE Poetry Competition 2016/17 winners and shortlist, announced today (26 April 2017), reflect the impressive diversity of talent, style and vision among the UK’s young poets.

Run annually by the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE), this year’s contest received more than 1,300 entries on the theme “new beginnings”, with the final selections made by children’s author Liz Kessler.

The diversity of the entries is reflected in the two overall winners. Joseph Ryan’s winning primary entry tells the comic tale of a Martian arriving in Surrey, while Katharine Rodriguez won the secondary category with a moving first-person account of a dying boy. Other entries address themes of birth and rebirth, moving to a new country or school, changing seasons and new technologies.

Inspired by his own experience of moving to Guildford, and by the nonsense poems of Edward Lear, Joseph said he wanted to write “a fun, almost ridiculous, poem in that free style that would make people laugh and want to recite it out loud.”

Katherine said she writes a lot of poetry, but had “never expected anything from it”. She added: “I tend to write poetry on topics that I am passionate about, therefore I tend to write about topics that affect people around the world, namely freedom of speech.”

The winners, runners-up and shortlisted entries are celebrated in a special edition e-book created by education publishers Rising Stars, available for free download.
  Primary category Secondary category
Winner Joseph Ryan (age 9, Lanesborough Prep School, Guildford)
Katherine Rodriguez (age 14, Forest Gate Community School, London)
Runners-up Jiang May Cowper (age 8, The Marist School, Ascot)

Niamh Soussa (Year 3, Thomas’s Battersea, London)
Luca Carraretto (age 11, Lanesborough School, Guildford)
Freddie Edgecliffe-Johnson (age 12, Lanesborough School, Guildford)
Shortlisted Luca Cisek (age 10, North Ealing Primary School, London)
Salena Haile (age 10, The Federation of St Joseph’s Catholic Junior, Infant
and Nursery Schools, London)

Elizabeth Maisey (Year 6, Gomeldon Primary School, Salisbury)

Isah Nazir (age 7, Ark Chamberlain Primary Academy, Birmingham)

Kyion Stewart (age 6, The Federation of St Joseph’s Catholic Junior, Infant and Nursery Schools, London)
Isha Barot (age 14, Akeley Wood School, Buckingham)
Isla Bence (age 14, Trinity School, Sevenoaks)
Morganna Davies (age 13, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, Pont-y-pwl)
Samantha Hurst (age 13, Trinity School, Sevenoaks)
Tom Postance (age 11, Lanesborough School, Guildford)
Shortlisted entries come from across England and Wales, with several schools celebrating multiple successes. Guildford’s Lanesborough School has four students in the shortlist, including the overall primary winner and two secondary runners-up. Trinity School in Sevenoaks and St Joseph’s in London each have two shortlisted students.

Competition judge Liz Kessler said: “I was absolutely blown away by these poems. The variety was wonderful, crossing all sorts of subjects and styles. Some of the poems moved me deeply; others made me laugh. All of them made me feel proud to be associated with such a fabulous and inspiring initiative.”

Sue Riley, CEO of NACE, commented: “NACE launched the national competitions programme in 2011 to provide enrichment opportunities for young people. Each year we are delighted by the breadth of creativity, honesty and originality on show.”

The NACE Photography Competition 2017 will open for entries this term. Find out more.

March, 2017

Enrichment, guidance & support

Winners of NACE Poetry Competition to be Announced 26 April 2017
The winners of the NACE Poetry Competition 2016/17 will be announced on 26 April 2017, alongside the launch of a special edition free e-book celebrating the shortlisted poems.

This year’s competition saw a record-breaking number of entries, with more than 1,300 primary- and secondary-school students submitting poems on the theme “new beginnings”.



NACE and ERW Partner on More Able and Talented Provision
Last week saw the official start to a new partnership between NACE (the National Association for More Able Children in Education) and ERW (Education Through Regional Working).

Bringing together 12 schools from the six Welsh local authorities covered by ERW, the project will focus on improving provision for more able and talented (MAT) students, in the context of “challenge for all” which is central to NACE’s approach.

Find out more...
Campaign to debunk learning styles neuromyth
What’s your learning style? Visual? Auditory? Kinaesthetic? If you believe it’s important to match teaching materials to individual learning styles, you’re certainly not alone – but a group of neuroscientists are now attempting to debunk this so-called “neuromyth” in UK schools.

Llanfoist Fawr Students Show Prince William How to Embrace Challenge
It’s not every day you get to watch the heir to the throne put up a tent while blindfolded, balance a ball on a piece of string, or build a tower out of marshmallows. But children at Llanfoist Fawr Primary School took all this in their stride, cheering on the Duke of Cambridge as he joined them in a series of team-building activities on St David’s Day.

The school is one of many in Wales working towards the NACE Challenge Award, a nationally and internationally recognised quality mark given to schools that have developed good provision for more able and talented learners, in the context of challenge for all.

Read more about Prince William's visit...
October, 2016


NACE are delighted to launch the second NACE essentials guide, if you are a beginning teacher this is the guide for you


More able, gifted and talented Education guide 2 The essential guide for the informed beginning teacher, available exclusively to NACE members. Click here to view guide (you will need your NACE member login).
Want to see the document but are not a NACE member? click here to join NACE


September, 2016


The national curriculum assessments at key stage 2 in England, 2016 (provisional) published September 2016 click here for NACE analysis of achievement at the Higher Standard
Click here for the full report or NACE members, please check the "latest news" page on the NACE members website to see the "summary" of the report prepared by NACE . Click here for NACE member summary
NACE’s response to Theresa May’s ‘Schools that work for everyone’ speech, 9 September 2016.

NACE is currently reviewing the government consultation on this matter, and will issue a response shortly click here for full NACE Statement
June, 2016


In response to the BBC report today NACE is supporting teachers to provide excellent teaching and learning for more able, gifted and talented pupils

“In response to the BBC report today about “Thousands of bright pupils, especially those from poor backgrounds, are still being denied the chance to fulfil their potential” Sue Riley, CEO of NACE advises that as an independent UK education charity, NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education) focuses on supporting schools review the scope and quality of what they are doing for their most able pupils in a context of challenge and high standards for all. We welcome the Government’s recent White Paper proposals to investigate, fund and evaluate approaches to help the brightest students fulfil their potential”. For details of NACE membership and how it can support your school click here - full BBC link click here 

Sue Mordecai, NACE Trustee added that "the NACE Challenge Award recognises those schools which provide a good education for all pupils with a particular focus on the more able and we must do more to disseminate this effective practice in our schools"  

'Believing in Better' Sue Mordecai, NACE Trustee, highlights the importance of the recent research report
Sue Mordecai, NACE Trustee, highlights the importance of the recent research report 'Believing in Better'  which deals with students' attitudes to going to university and their belief in their own academic ability. Available to NACE members on the NACE website /published papers.



May, 2016


NACE launches ebook of 2015 poetry winners and shortlisted entries in association with RM Education

You can read all the winning and highly commended entries from this year’s competition here in the specially produced ebook by RM Education. We hope you enjoy the poems as much as we did. Details of the 2016 competition will go live on the NACE website in the autumn. More information click here

April, 2016


My first NACE Cymru conference & I will be back!
Excellent reviews for NACE Cymru Spring Conference - Sue Riley, chief executive of NACE and who was attending the conference for the first time, said she was delighted delegates had gained so much from the day, and noted that NACE Cyrmu would work to develop further networking opportunities for schools in the coming months. Click here for full press release
March, 2016


NACE welcomes the 'Educational Excellence Everywhere' white paper's continued focus on more able pupils.

Sue Riley, NACE Chief Executive, commented that NACE will continue to support teachers to provide excellent teaching and learning for more able pupils and looks forward to seeing this important area of work develop further. Click here for full report


NACE Chairman Steve Clarke is delighted to announce that NACE have appointed a new Chief Executive Sue Riley

Commenting on Sue’s appointment Steve Clarke said “NACE has great opportunities to become even stronger and to have a bigger voice in the education agenda. I believe that Sue has the qualities to take that agenda forward for NACE and am delighted that she has joined us”. Click here for full article

February, 2016


The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (January 2016) published a major new piece of research examining social mobility and high ability in detail at individual local area level.
One of the key recommendations:
A new drive is needed to close the attainment gap which sees low-ability wealthy children overtake their high-ability poorer peers during school, and sees only 24% of poor white British boys gain 5 good GCSEs (against the national average of 57%). Learning from the successes in London, the government should look to raise the attainment of poor children across the country to the current rate of inner London schools by 2030, reducing the attainment gap by two thirds.

Click here for full report