Warwick to Be Academy for Prodigies

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Warburton

A top Midland university is to be the home to Britain's first academy for gifted and talented youngsters.

The University of Warwick is to run the multi-million pound centre that will give children the chance to study subjects they would not usually cover at school. Despite the Government not making an official announcement until January it is believed Warwick has gained the contract ahead of six other shortlisted institutions, including Oxford and Exeter universities.

The Coventry-based university will receive a pounds 60 million Government contract to set up the academy, due to open next summer.

The move comes as inspectors claim many bright pupils are missing out on the gifted and talented programme in schools because methods of identifying them are failing.

Plans for the academy, which would provide extra education to 11-16 year-olds, are modelled on the American summer school at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Warwick's bid has been strengthened by its new vicechancellor, Prof David VandeLinde, who spent 12 years lecturing there.

The American programmecharges more than pounds 1,500 for a three-week summer school. The British equivalent will be self funding within three years, with the option to charge.

The Government blueprint envisages a super-bright stream of youngsters who will spend threeweek ``intensive'' sessions, spending 100 hours covering both National Curriculum subjects and topics schools cannot teach. …