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Monday, 10 February, 2003, 13:22 GMT
Talent academy to charge 1,000
Warwick University
Bright pupils will get a taste of campus life
A summer school for some of the UK's brightest children is to start charging up to 1,000 for three-week courses.

The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, based at the University of Warwick, says the money is needed to pay for accommodation, tuition and outings.

The price is expected to rise to 1,700 - the actual cost of providing the summer school - from next year.

The pilot scheme for 100 pupils last year was free.

Ability first

An academy spokesman said: "There is a grudging acceptance that resources should be targeted at those who cannot afford to pay.

"No child is excluded on the ability to pay. It's only based on the child's ability."

Around 60% of the 900 students attending the summer school will not pay the full 1,000, with 15% benefiting for free.

Those taking part are chosen from the top 5% of the ability range for 11 to 16 year olds.

They get the chance to study subjects not normally taught at secondary schools, such as Japanese, geology and genetics.

The academy spokesman added: "Students are going to have a very high-quality experience. They won't just be spending the whole day in a classroom. There are many social activities planned.

Academic stars

"The course is residential, which costs money. On top of that, we have to pay for the activities.

"These are kids as young as 11 years old, so we have round-the-clock staff in residence with them. We also bring in academic stars to lecture them."

As well as the 900 children attending the summer schools, 4,100 are taking part in evening, weekend and online "master classes".

The academy, also part-funded by the government, Warwick University, business and private donations, aims eventually to offer teaching for 150,000 children.

Commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, it is expected to cost 20m for its first five years.

See also:

27 Jan 03 | England
12 Nov 02 | Education
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14 Dec 98 | Education
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