NAGTY was originally contracted for five years. In 2006, the DfES decided not to extend the contract and instead replace it with a "Managing Contractor for Gifted and Talented Education" (NPGATE). This change in approach left Warwick University unwilling to bid, leading to the formation of the Young Gifted and Talented programme, the replacement for NAGTY. Warwick has decided to work with partners to launch its own independent operation, the International gateway for gifted youth, IGGY, with the first pilot programme being launched in 2008. The University has announced that it will be making a significant announcement regarding IGGY on 22 April 2008 through the IGGY website.
NAGTY changed its admissions policy radically during its run. Initially, all students had to submit a large portfolio complete with an individual letter detailing why the student would like to join, and numerous pieces of evidence such as UKMT certificates, World Class Tests results, school work, SAT or GCSE results, IQ tests and references from teachers. This was then examined by a number of professionals who either approved or declined these entrants, depending on whether or not they deemed that the applicant was in the top 5% of the national population. As admission numbers grew, NAGTY decided that it would be necessary to simplify the admissions in order that they could be processed at a greater rate. The new process, renamed "Loc8or" (changed from "Talent Search" - the initial title), asked for 3 different areas of evidence:
However, at the end of 2003, the Loc8or process was simplified yet again so that all that was required (as shown here (PDF)) was a single piece of evidence and a form of endorsement from the applicant's school. This policy raised considerable debate amongst some parties, including some of NAGTY's own students, that the less stringent application process led to students being admitted that were not necessarily in the top 5%. The Academy denied this.
The aim of the Student Academy was to help students to maximise their potential, by providing additional activities and services that maintain engagement with and motivation for education.
The Academy also provided a service for the education system of England and Wales, a service that was entitled the "Professional Academy". The aim of the Professional Academy was to work with schools to enable them to provide better education for Gifted and Talented youngsters than would otherwise be possible. In the long run they aimed for a situation where as much emphasis and thought would be given to the education of Gifted students as it is to people with special educational needs. The Academy attempted to achieve these aims through the use of teacher training and publications.
The Academy also has an 'Expertise Centre', the aim of which was to study 'giftedness' and what it is that makes some children more 'clever' than others, and to research the best ways of educating such children. A wider aim was also to allow society to more widely understand the concept of 'giftedness' and encourage more research in this area.
The Academy produced a number of publications, all aimed at separate groups, but the majority of which were for use by the Professional Academy. The main publication which was intended for all of the students that were members of the Academy was entitled Aspire and was published termly (three times a year). The first seven issues of the magazine were distributed to both the professional and student academy but from the eighth issue two publications were produced, one aimed at each of the two main focuses of the academy. Copies of this publication can be found on the Academy's website.
Warwick has now formally launched the first pilot programme within its International Gateway for Gifted Youth, to be known as IGGY. There is a launch competition where the prize will involve 12 young people being chosen to visit a number of countries to undertake a project. The competition closes in May 2008. Warwick refuses to rule out running a residential summer school in 2008 even though the first IGGY Summer School is not due to launch until 2009. All NAGTY members can have automatic entry to IGGY and its online services are expected to start within the next few months.
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