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Frequently asked questions
Answers to your questions about NACE membership and provision for more able learners
Scroll down for answers to frequently asked questions about NACE membership, our services, and how to effectively meet the needs of more able learners within your school. For general information about NACE and how we work, visit our "About" page.
Who joins NACE?
Our membership is made up of schools of all types and sizes, working at all key stages, across England, Wales and beyond. When you join NACE, all staff within your school have access to our member benefits (see below).
Why join NACE?
NACE membership is for all staff within your school. Benefits include access to exclusive resources and webinars; attendance at termly member meetups; participation in regional and national R&D initiatives; discounts on CPD and consultancy; access to the NACE Challenge Development Programme and more. Find out more here.
How much does NACE membership cost?
The cost of NACE membership is based on school size. For current rates, click here.
How do I become a member?
To join NACE, simply complete our online application form.
Can we display the NACE logo as a member?
Yes. Log in to our members’ site to download the NACE members’ logo for use on your school website, email signatures and stationery.
What resources do you provide?
Our members have access to exclusive resources, including our flagship NACE Essentials range, which provides expert guidance on key aspects of policy and provision for more able learners. Our resource library also includes case studies, practical templates and checklists, posters and webinars. For examples, take a look at our sample resources.
Leading for more able learners
I have just been assigned to the role of more able lead – where do I begin?
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. It may also be useful to find out if there is a local network for more able coordinators/lead practitioners in your area, and/or join your nearest NACE R&D Hub.
If your school is already a member of NACE, log in to our members’ area to access our full resource library; we recommend starting with the NACE Essentials range. You may also consider joining the NACE Challenge Development Programme, which provides a comprehensive structure and support to help lead practitioners review their school’s current provision for the more able and identify next steps.
Do we need a lead person for the more able?
NACE strongly recommends that a member of the senior leadership team (SLT) takes overall responsibility for the education of the more able. In addition, the appointment of a lead practitioner/coordinator 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. This can be a discrete document or included as part of a teaching, learning and assessment policy. It should be included as part of the school’s regular cycle of policy reviews.
Should we have a governor for the more able?
It is good practice to have a designated governor with a focus on provision for the more able, or to include this within the portfolio of a governor for teaching, learning and standards, or for an area such as inclusion.
Should we have a register of more able learners?
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 – principally defined as “higher prior attainers”. It is an element of the national whole-school data and performance tables. The wider more able cohort should be reviewed and updated regularly, especially in schools with high mobility and at key transition points.
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 include a paragraph under leadership and management on outcomes for more able learners. At NACE, we ensure the support and resources we provide are regularly updated to align with current requirements and inspection priorities.
What should we tell parents and carers?
It is good practice to inform parents and carers 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 and carers in the identification and support of more able learners. Parents and carers can play a significant role in supporting the school and the child, and in building a productive partnership between home and school.
How should we provide for an exceptionally able learner?
There is no single way of responding to the needs of an exceptionally able learner; a personalised approach should be adopted with regards to academic, social and emotional needs. This is best achieved in partnership with parents/carers and external organisations. The key factor to consider is the engagement and involvement of the exceptionally able young person in any discussions and decisions, taking account of level of maturity, personal development needs and wellbeing.
Log in to our members’ site for additional guidance on these questions.
Identification and key terminology
What should we call more able learners?
In general NACE uses the term “more able”. However, for a small group of learners we use the term “exceptionally able”. The Welsh government uses the terminology “more able and talented (MAT)”. Currently Ofsted and DfE use “more able”, “most able” or “higher attainers”. For schools, it is important to be clear on how these terms are used; for example, DfE/Ofsted use of “higher attainers” refers to learners achieving the highest standards in English and maths. Within your school, agree on a shared terminology and definition/s which make sense for your context.
What is the definition of more able?
The DfE and Ofsted define the more able in terms of those whose progress and attainment significantly exceed age-related expectations. However, NACE looks beyond this to include those who may be underachieving or whose skills and knowledge may extend beyond national measures of progress and attainment.
How do we identify more able learners?
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, looking beyond test results and teacher assessment. The key is to consider the opportunities provided for learners to reveal their abilities. The process is ongoing: provide – identify – provide.
What percentage does NACE recommend should be identified as “more able”?
The percentage 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, while ongoing and flexible, method of identifying its more able cohort.
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.
Log in to our members’ site for additional guidance on these questions.
Funding for more able
Can I use pupil premium (PP) funding for the more able?
Pupil premium (PP) funding should be used to support more able learners from disadvantaged, EAL, LAC and Forces backgrounds. Examples of how the PP can be used to support the more able include funding to enable learners to attend relevant courses and extracurricular activities, and funding for individualised support such as mentoring or one-to-one tuition.
Is there any funding to support the more able?
Pupil premium funding should be used to support more able learners from disadvantaged backgrounds (see above). There is no dedicated funding for the more able, but there are organisations whose main aim is to support highly able young people e.g. The Brilliant Club, Headstart, Shine, Dick Camplin Trust, university access schemes. NACE encourages schools to explore funding and grant opportunities which could be applied to more able learners.
NACE Challenge Development Programme
What is the NACE Challenge Development Programme?
The NACE Challenge Development Programme offers a structure and support for schools seeking to review and improve their provision for more able learners. Exclusively available to NACE members, it is based on the NACE Challenge Framework – an established tool for school self-evaluation and improvement in this area. Find out more here.
How can I access the NACE Challenge Development Programme?
To join the NACE Challenge Development Programme, your school must be a current NACE member. If unsure whether your school holds NACE membership, contact us. Once you have decided on the best Challenge Development Programme option for your school, complete our online form to place your order.
For answers to other questions about the NACE Challenge Development Programme – including packages and costs, Challenge Award accreditation and more, click here.
NACE CPD and consultancy
What kind of professional development can NACE provide for our school?
We offer support to individual teachers, schools and clusters of schools through:
We also have a range of publications and resources available via our members’ site, including live and recorded webinars, which give guidance to help school leaders and teachers develop their provision for the more able.
Payments and cancellations
Payments from the UK
Account number: 01240262
Sort code: 30-96-35
VAT number: 536 5807 26
Please post cheques to:
National Association for Able Children in Education
Payments from overseas
Account number: 01240262
Sort code: 30-96-35
IBAN: GB77 LOYD 3096 3501 2402 62
BIC/SWIFT: LOYD GB 21023
Cancellations/transfers for events, CPD, consultancy or Challenge Award visits
All requests for cancellations and/or transfers must be received in writing (email or letter). Changes will become effective on the date of written confirmation being received. Delegate name changes are acceptable. Transfers to another event are acceptable up to two weeks prior to the initially booked event date. The new event must be within the current academic year.
The appropriate cancellation charge will apply based on the cost of your booking, as detailed below.
Membership payments are non-refundable. Membership is annual and can be cancelled after one year.
I’m a parent and want to ensure my child is well supported by his/her school – what can I do?
NACE is a membership organisation for schools; we provide advice and guidance to help schools improve provision for more able learners. To enable your child’s school to access our full support and resources, please invite them to consider NACE membership. While NACE does not work directly with individual parents or children, there are charities that do so. Potential Plus is one such organisation.
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 learners 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, if not managed and supported well.