| In 'Releasing Potential', a report published today, The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) highlights the waste of hidden potential which can be found amongst some of our young offenders and those excluded from school.
The report tested the hypothesis that there are young offenders in the system, who have high learning potential, but that through a combination of factors including underachievement at school, parental support, hidden special needs, truancy and peer pressure, their potential became hidden in the system.
NAGC felt that if the children with high learning potential could be identified and provided with appropriate diversions, they might be prevented from re-offending and kept from embarking on a criminal career.
Through this small scale study, NAGC believes that there was sufficient evidence to back up its allegations that, without the right structures and support in place, these bright children are lost to the system and become caught up in the offending cycle.
Denise Yates, Chief Executive of NAGC commenting on the work says: "Children with high learning potential, who are in the criminal justice system, are doubly disadvantaged. Poor life chances coupled with lack of imagination in their education often means that their fate is sealed before they even enter the criminal justice system. However, once they are in the system, we are failing them again, both through our inability to identify their needs on a consistent basis and then by not providing courses, which challenge and inspire them. Even if children with high learning potential find engaging and challenging courses within the criminal justice system, they may not find timely and appropriate courses upon their release."
'Releasing Potential' makes 13 practical recommendations about what could be done both in the criminal justice system and the community to release the potential and break the offending cycle.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with Releasing Potential in the subject box to request the Executive Summary