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Introduction to the case studies

In the first round of case studies, CS2, CS3 and CS4 were selected because they had already been identified for NAGTY in 2003 as ambassador schools on the basis of their existing national expertise in the area of gifted and talented education, as reported in OFSTED data. These three schools were selected to represent a diverse geographical spread and school type. CS1 was identified because of its distinctive approach to differentiation within a comprehensive framework and its reputation for excellence. For the second round of case studies, the sampling approach was modified to capture further examples of particularly effective practice. The research team at NAGTY analysed the highest attaining schools on the national performance tables and combined this with the highest value-added measures, giving about 40 schools. OFSTED reports were then searched for highly positive comments in relation to these schools provision for gifted and talented education, which gave nine schools. From those agreeing, the team selected two single-sex grammar schools, CS5 and CS6. These gave organisational types different from the 2005 case studies, significantly extending the overall range. The final two case studies, CS7 and CS8 are different in that they represent wider schooling and were conceived because we wanted to examine the extent of continuity between out-of-school learning and in-school learning. CS7 was selected because it was the longest-running and largest online advanced learning group used by gifted students at NAGTY. CS8, describing a residential summer school for gifted children, like the other cases, represented high quality and outstanding provision as evaluated by OFSTED.