More Able and Talented (MAT) children in Merthyr Tydfil
In Wales gifted pupils are called “More Able and Talented (MAT)”. As defined by the Welsh Assembly Government they:
“require extended opportunities across the curriculum in order
to develop their abilities in one or more areas. Approximately
20% of the school population may be ‘more able’ while the top
2% could be considered ‘exceptional’.”
It is the duty of every school to meet the needs of all of its pupils, whatever their strengths and weaknesses. Each school within the county borough uses a variety of identification methods for identifying more able and talented pupils. Each school has a named member of staff responsible for promoting activities and programmes for those who require challenges beyond those of the main school curriculum, both in class and after school where appropriate. It is believed that good provision and support for such pupils is a sound basis for raising standards and extending opportunities for all pupils in the school, regardless of ability.
The local authority has encouraged MAT provision in schools by bringing together staff from many different schools to trial good programmes and to share ideas and good practice.
The More Able and Talented pupil’s abilities may lie in different areas including academic, creative and artistic, sporting, social and leadership and information for identification may come from school, parents and the wider community.
Parents are vital partners in the education of every child. Any parent who feels their child has outstanding strengths should talk to teachers in their child’s school.