Bright Sparks: Support for gifted children

ITV News Central's Bright Sparks series follows the lives of extraordinarily gifted children - and looks at the challenges they and their families face.

Education Correspondent Peter Bearne has introduced us to some of the Midlands' cleverest youngsters, and been finding out what makes them tick.

He says: "It's very easy to think that gifted children have everything going for them - they just sail through school with top marks in everything. But if they find everything too easy, school can become very boring and frustrating."

Matthew Smith is a musical prodigy and Britain's youngest conductor. Credit: ITV News Central

Schools used to get a pot of money from the Government specifically to help their gifted children, but that's no longer the case.

Now headteachers have to decide how much of their budget they want to spend on their most able pupils against all the other things they have to spend money on.

Gifted children will hopefully get more attention in the future because of the way we now measure how schools are performing.

It used to be based purely on GCSE results and that encouraged schools to focus more on their less able pupils and bringing them up to standard.

Now it's about the progress all children make from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school - ensuring the brightest kids get on and achieve their potential as well.

Nathan's parents sent him to a private school to help get their gifted son the support he needed. Credit: ITV News Central

There is support out there for families of gifted children in the form of the charity Potential Plus UK. You can also contact British Mensa.