Kids jumping grades

Now that Theresa May’s command for grammar schools has erupted into intense controversy — as much in Tory ranks as in the Labour Party — where you might expect it the more — another recent blog needs a revisit.

This is “What to do for gifted children” (11 September).  In particular the following passage: “. . . educationalists should not be afraid of accelerating the grades of exceptional children. So long as they find themselves in a group of older students where they can talk about their special subject the children will socialise well enough.”

The accent should have been on the subject, not necessarily on the whole curriculum.  For example, if a 12 year-old has a fascination for physics then let him or her jump grade in that subject.  Even if the child joined some 18 year-olds studying physics for their university entrance exam there’d be no question of bullying or lack of socialisation.

If, however, the same child joined the same class of 18 year-olds permanently in a full curriculum of subjects then all sorts of developmental disparities would be apparent simply to do with age.  Steve Kurtz makes the point in his comment.

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