PC Meddlers Decree You Can't Call Clever Children 'Gifted'; Education Chief Says Words Such as 'Talented' Are Elitist

Daily Mail (London), March 26, 2005 | Go to article overview

PC Meddlers Decree You Can't Call Clever Children 'Gifted'; Education Chief Says Words Such as 'Talented' Are Elitist


Byline: JAMES TOZER

CLEVER children should not be called gifted or talented as it 'suggests exclusiveness', an education chief has told his staff.

Instead, according to the edict from Howard Cooper, they should be referred to as 'very able, with specific gifts or talents'.

The order came in a report by the director of education at Labour-led Wirral Council on Merseyside.

Introducing his conclusions, Mr Cooper wrote: 'The most significant amendment concerns terminology, with a movement away from the term "gifted and talented" because of its suggestion of exclusiveness and relatively narrow scope.

'The recommended alternative term for the cohort of pupils to whom this document applies is "very able, with specific gifts and talents", to be shortened for ease of use to "very able".' Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, criticised the edict for portraying achievement as elitist and something to be frowned upon.

'This is another example of the highly damaging egalitarian ethos which maintains that no one should be more successful than anyone else,' he said.

'It shows there is still a politically correct philosophy in the educational establishment which believes that by banning certain words, it can change the way people think.

'Instead, we should be telling schools that one of their most important tasks should be to identify pupils' gifts and nurture them - that's nothing to be ashamed of.' One child whose ability has not been hampered by concerns over 'exclusivity' is Mikhail Ali, from Bramley, West Yorkshire. …

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