High potential students are those whose potential exceeds that of students of the same age in one or more domains. Their potential may be assessed as beyond the average range across any domain. They may benefit from an enriched or extended curriculum and learning opportunities beyond the typical level of students the same age.
About the policy
The High Potential and Gifted Education Policy (HPGE) was announced by the Minister for Education on 4 June 2019. Implementation of the policy across the state is supported by an integrated professional learning program.
The policy will be operating in all public schools in NSW by day 1, Term 1, 2021. Schools have 18 months to familiarise themselves with the policy, engage in professional learning and plan for implementation.
The High Potential and Gifted Education Policy applies to all NSW public schools, teachers, and students. It describes a framework to develop the talent of high potential and gifted students. The policy provides advice to implement effective learning and teaching practices.
The policy promotes engagement and challenge for every student in every school across intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical domains of potential, while explicitly identifying and addressing the learning needs of high potential and gifted students.
Fundamental to the policy are issues of equity and excellence. High potential and gifted students have advanced learning capacity compared to same-age students and, as a result, require talent development opportunities and differentiated teaching and learning practices to ensure their specific learning needs are met.
High potential students are found among students of all backgrounds. Gaps in achievement, known as excellence gaps, may exist between different groups of high potential and gifted students unless specific support is provided. Such gaps further entrench inequality and disadvantage.
- All students, regardless of background or personal circumstances, require access to learning programs that meet their learning needs and support to aspire to, and achieve, personal excellence.
- Our commitment to high expectations for all students includes high potential and gifted students.
- Achieving excellence for high potential and gifted students is underpinned by effective school environments including quality teaching, learning and leadership.
- Potential exists along a continuum, where differing degrees of potential require differing approaches and levels of adjustment and intervention.
The policy draws on Françoys Gagné’s definitions of giftedness and talent established in the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent DMGT 2.0 (2009). The definition of high potential students across intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical domains expands the group of targeted students of earlier policies.
Highly gifted and gifted students are sub-groups of high potential students.
The Education Act 1990 (NSW) regulates the operation of and practice of all schools in NSW.
The provision of quality education in every NSW public school is a fundamental government responsibility through the NSW Department of Education. It is realised through:
- policy implementation
- educational leadership
- support for schools and teachers.
The department’s strategic vision is that every student, every teacher, every leader and every school improves each year and that every student is engaged and challenged to continue to learn.
Our system promotes and values the achievement of all students. High potential and gifted students with ability in intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical domains must be provided with the circumstances and resources to support talent development.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) applies to all organisations and government departments.
The policy builds on existing provisions for students with disability in NSW schools by making clear the requirements for high potential and gifted students with disability, in that provision of education should not discriminate against students on the grounds of disability.
The policy implements the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Commonwealth) as they relate to high potential and gifted students with disability. NSW schools and teachers are expected to comply with the standards.
Related policies and documents
The policy should be read in conjunction with:
- Aboriginal Education Policy
- Anti-Racism Policy
- Assisting Students with Learning Difficulties policy
- Australian Professional Standard for Principals (AITSL)
- Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL)
- Curriculum Planning and Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parents K-12 policy
- Disability strategy
- Leading and Managing the School policy
- Mentoring Students Policy
- Multicultural Education Policy
- Professional Learning Policy for Schools
- Psychological Tests Policy
- School Excellence Framework
- School Excellence Policy
- Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Policy
- Student Welfare Policy
- Wellbeing framework for schools
- Workplace Learning for Secondary Students in Government Schools policy
For specific enquiries related to the policy, please contact Prudence Greene, Leader, Secondary Education: Prudence.Greene@det.nsw.edu.au
Principals and teachers can seek advice from their Director, Educational Leadership and local School Services teams.
Parents, family, and community members can consult their child’s teacher, school principal or their nominee.