GeneralWhat should we call ‘more able children’?
In general NACE uses the term ‘more able’, however for a small number of pupils we use the term ‘exceptionally able’. The Welsh Government uses the terminology More Able and Talented (MAT). Currently Ofsted uses the term ‘More Able’ in primary schools and ‘Most Able’ in secondary schools. The DfE refers to higher attainers as well as most able.
What is the definition of more able?
The DfE and Ofsted define the more able in terms of those whose progress significantly exceeds age related expectations. However, NACE looks beyond actual progress to include those who may be underachieving or whose skills and knowledge may extend beyond the school’s measures of progress and curriculum. Exceptionally able pupils are those who have the capacity to achieve or perform at the very highest levels.
How do we identify more able pupils?
This is a complex matter and is a whole school issue which should be discussed and agreed by all staff. It is important to encompass a range of methods which looks beyond test results and teacher assessment. The key issue is what opportunities are you providing for children / students to reveal their abilities? The process is ongoing – provide – identify – provide.
What percentage does NACE recommend that should be identified as ‘more able’?
The number of more able learners in a class or school will vary. NACE does not specify an actual percentage but recommends that every school has a robust method of identifying its more able cohort.
Should we have a register?
There is no requirement to have a specific More Able Register however every maintained school in England is required to report on the progress and attainment of its more able cohort. It is an element of the whole school data information system. The cohort should be reviewed and updated regularly especially in schools with high mobility and at key transition points.
Do we need a lead person for the more able?
NACE strongly recommends that a member of the Senior Leadership Team takes overall responsibility for the education of the more able. In addition, the appointment of a Lead Practitioner enhances the school’s capacity to develop outstanding practice and provision.
Do we need a more able policy?
There is no requirement to have such a policy but NACE considers it to be good practice in terms of ensuring consistency and quality assurance. It can be a discrete document or included as part of a teaching, learning and assessment policy. The policy should be included as part of the school’s regular cycle of policy reviews. Exemplar policies are available on the NACE website.
What do I do about an exceptionally able child?
Such children can be a delight and a challenge. There is no one way of supporting an exceptionally able child but a personalised approach should be adopted with regard to the academic, social and emotional needs. This is best achieved in partnership with parents and external organisations who may well take a significant role in provision. The important thing to remember is the engagement and involvement of the exceptionally able child in any discussions and decisions, taking account of level of maturity, personal development needs and well-being.
Should we have a governor for the more able?
It is good practice to have a designated governor or to include within the portfolio of a governor for teaching, learning and standards or e.g. inclusion.
Will Ofsted inspect our provision for the more able?
Yes, the current Ofsted Inspection Framework places emphasis on the quality of a school’s provision and progress for the more able and inspection reports now include a paragraph under leadership and management on outcomes for more able pupils. The NACE Challenge Award is acknowledged in Ofsted inspection reports and Ofsted and NACE liaise on a regular basis.
What is dual exceptionality?
This term is used to describe young, able people who have complex or additional learning needs, for example autistic spectrum disorder. NACE patron Professor Diane Montgomery is a leading expert in this area.
What is NACE’s view on acceleration and individual early exam entry?
Acceleration can mean two things – more rapid progress through the curriculum or advancement to older year groups. NACE recommends that accelerating the curriculum can be used judiciously but with due regard to the need to provide depth and enrichment as a priority. Research shows that acceleration per se can do more harm than good. Early entry to examinations does not necessarily lead to achieving the highest levels and may lead to an ensuing vacuum in learning. Rapid trajectories in performance fields (e.g. sport) can militate against the fulfilment of early promise and potential and compromise social-emotional development.
How does NACE gather the evidence which supports its work and views?
NACE works with a range of patrons, partners, specialist organisations and researchers in this field who inform and stimulate our thinking. We commission and undertake our own research, for example through the growing network of Challenge Award schools. The Board of Trustees and NACE associates are drawn from experts in the field with significant experience and track records in the education of the more able.
What should we tell parents?
It is good practice to inform parents about the strengths and progress of their children as part of the school’s reporting systems. Some schools choose to have discrete communications and forums to engage parents in the identification and support of able pupils. Parents can play a significant role in supporting the school and the able pupil and in building a productive partnership between home and school.
Can NACE give me lesson plans for the more able?
NACE encourages schools to develop their own practice based on the following strategies:
- Rich questioning
- Higher order and abstract thinking (e.g. handling ambiguity and paradox)
- Problem solving and enquiry
- Development of advanced language skills, to include accuracy, precision and fluency
- Independent work and self-study
- Development of metacognition
- Transfer of knowledge across disciplines
- Provision of leadership opportunities
- Curriculum enrichment
- Different subject areas will deploy different and additional approaches according to age and stage.
What resources/articles do you recommend we can read about more able children?
There are comprehensive lists of resources, publications and recommended reading on our website. We put the latest research papers on our website and alert members when these appear.
Can I use Pupil Premium (PP) for the more able?
There is PP funding which should be used to support able pupils from disadvantaged, EAL, LAC and Forces backgrounds. The NACE website has examples of how some schools have used the PP to support wider provision for more able pupils and individualised support e.g. funding to enable children to attend relevant courses and extra-curricular activities and individualised support (e.g. mentoring, one to one tuition).
Is there any funding to support the more able?
There is Pupil Premium funding which should be used to support able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is no dedicated funding for the more able but there are organisations whose main aim is to support able children e.g. Headstart, Shine, Dick Camplin Trust, University Access schemes. NACE encourages schools to explore funding and grant opportunities which could be applied to more able pupils.
I have just been assigned to the role of more able lead – where do I begin?
NACE runs courses for new lead practitioners for the more able. Find out if there is a local network for More Able or lead practitioners in other schools (see also map of Challenge Award schools on the website). The Challenge Award provides a framework which could support lead practitioners in developing understanding and reviewing and improving provision. You should seek to clarify your responsibilities with your Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and have the support of a senior manager if you are not part of SLT.
What kind of professional development can NACE provide for our school?
We offer support to individual teachers, schools and clusters of schools through national and regional:
- Tailored training
We have a wide range of publications and resources available for members which give guidance in a number of relevant areas. Please see the NACE website for further details.
@ Copyright www.nace.co.uk Updated Autumn Term 2016 FAQs are reviewed termly
Membership What kind of people join NACE?Teachers, Headteachers, MAT Coordinators, A,G&T Coordinators, Independent Consultants, LA Advisors, overseas members
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As a paid member, you will receive a link to our website to obtain an electronic version of the membership logo which can be displayed on your website and school literature etc.
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NACE is a not-for-profit organisation. It charges for its services and products but keeps costs to a minimum in order to make them affordable to schools and teachers