This initiative has the official support of the Department of Education and Skills. The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has declared his own personal recognition of Gifted and Talented students:
"I very much welcome the initiative to establish the first EU Talent Day on 9 April, together with the National Gifted Education Awareness Day in Ireland on 8 April. We must nurture and support talent and giftedness, if we are to meet the challenges which face today's society. This is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate talent in many disciplines, and to promote an inclusive education system which meets all our students' needs."
Official support has been given by the national associations of both Primary and Post Primary school Principals (NAPD, IPPN), the largest secondary school teachers’ union (ASTI), and three national parents’ representative bodies (NPCpp, PACCS, FEDCBS). This is probably the first time that all these groups have come together in support of an event such as this.
Advocates for gifted children in Ireland now have an opportunity like never before. We must seize it with both hands and find a way to work together to rise to the challenge. To that end, everyone with an interest in this area is invited to attend a meeting at Dublin ZOO at 2pm on Saturday 9th April where there will be two important events:
1. The launch of TEACHIreland, an association for teachers of Exceptionally Able Children in Ireland. All teachers are invited to register their interest by signing the register on the TEACH Ireland site.
2. The launch of Gifted and Talented Network Ireland. This meeting will explore ideas as to how this network of diverse groups or organisations around the country with an interest in giftedness or gifted education might function. We really want to hear views and suggestions so we can put shape on the network. Don't feel you are ‘joining up’ to something. The main concept is the creation of a network of interested parties with a view to progressing gifted education in Ireland. Come along and find out more next Saturday at 2.00pm in Dublin Zoo. Please sign the register on the new site to let us know you are coming.