UNESCO classification (ISCED) for Special Educational Need, often called SEN students are subdivided into three cross-national categories:
1) Disabilities - students with disabilities or impairments due to their medical condition;
2) Difficulties - students with behavioural or emotional disorders or specific difficulties in learning;
3) Disadvantages - students from lower socio-economic background, cultural or linguistic factors.
Gifted and talented students are subdivided into third category as students with disadvantages.
In the project "GATES - Educational Support for Gifted and Talented" the beneficiary party are students, who are capable of exceptional performance by their outstanding abilities. These students require differentiated provision by teachers and programs beyond regular school program to release their contribution to self and society. Thereby the students can demonstrate exceptional achievement or potential in one or more of the followings areas:
• specific academic aptitude in a subject area;
• creative thinker;
• superior talent in the visual or performing arts;
• natural leadership skills;
• a high level of measured intelligence;
• outstanding performance in sport or other areas requiring motor coordination.
Project supports and encourages schools to use the multiple intelligences concept in making provision for gifted students. The objective of the "GATES" project is to support teachers, who are the target group of project activities, to stimulate efficient and effective tools in order to adapt individual curriculum to gifted and talented pupils under the circumstance of each schools' available personnel, financial and material resources.
Project "GATES" is a transnational project due to the variety of approaches, regarding the target group, in partnering schools. Gifted students are commonly considered rather privileged than disadvantaged group of students in educational system. They are more often left aside from educational support compared to school dropouts. Turkey and Spain have the most advanced approach and inclusion system for gifted and talented students in EU. Best example of the situation are the statistics. The data provided in OECD report "Students with Disabilities, Learning Difficulties and Disadvantages", released in 2007, brings out the differences within the national definition of special educational needs, in which Turkey, Spain, Mexico and Canada (Alberta and British Columbia) also include gifted and talented pupils as students with special educational need.
Project "GATES" aims to overcome different national interpretations of concepts regarding gifted and talented students with special educational needs, who are experiencing difficulties in accessing the curriculum and their potential. Project activities aim to empower school teams to create cross-subject tool-kit relying on the written regulations developed during the first phase of the project . The main target group are the teachers at project schools. During the project, teachers gain new knowledge and skills of which students will benefit for years to come. The second phase of the project is focused on the implementation of the tool-kit. By the end of the project each school have developed an activity for gifted and talented educational support, putting together the "pieces" from their own school and combining the new knowledge from the others. The main part of the tool-kit will be the same at each school., but not everything can be adapted as a blueprint to all schools.