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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 00:26 GMT
Warwick hosts bright pupil academy
Warwick University - arts centre
Staff at Warwick University are "delighted" at the news
The University of Warwick has been selected as the host centre for an academy for Britain's brightest pupils.

The university beat off competition from five other higher education institutions to become home to the government's new school for talented youth.


We ignore the needs of our most able young people at our peril

Stephen Timms
But other UK institutions - including Durham University, the London School of Economics and York University - will be involved in the project.

The aim of the centre is to give academically gifted children the chance to stretch their abilities and those who are talented in sport or creative arts an opportunity to develop their skill.

The academy will be up and running by July 2002, with a pilot summer school for 100 pupils aged 11 to 16.

In time, youngsters from primary age to 19 will be able to study subjects they may not cover at school, such as archaeology and biotechnology.

Selection

Interested children will be selected on the basis of various tests - including SATs and world-class tests - as proof of their ability.

The government also hopes the academy will encourage able children from "non-traditional" backgrounds to apply to some of the UK's top universities.

While the academy has permission to charge fees for some of its services, the government has stipulated that this must not be a barrier to those from poorer backgrounds.

The academy is expected to cost 20m over the next five years, funded by the taxpayer and university, business and philanthropic support.

Eventually the government hopes to make it self-funding.

Duty

Launching the scheme on Tuesday, School Standards Minister Stephen Timms said: "We ignore the needs of our most able young people at our peril."

"If we are to have a truly inclusive education system we must enable every single child to fulfil his or her potential, including those with exceptional ability."

Vice-chancellor of Warwick Professor David VandeLinde, said the university was delighted to have been chosen for the programme.

"We have the expertise, the partnerships, an environment of excellence and the drive to succeed in establishing a uniquely English national academy."

The academy scheme was inspired by a similar centre at the Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

Interested parties should call 024 76 574 213 or visit the website, www.warwick.ac.uk/gifted for more information.

See also:

28 Aug 01 | Education
Gifted pupils head to university
13 Feb 01 | Education
US model for elite academy
14 Dec 98 | Education
Gifted pupils to get extra support
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