HELP: High European Learning Potential

A collaborative network of European practitioner organisations dedicated to enabling children with high learning potential (HLP) to grow in confidence and achieve fulfilment so they can thrive.

This network was formed as a result of a series of European Potential Conferences that were organised by The Potential Trust as a forum for all European organisations involved in helping HLP children and their families.

The aims of the HELP network are that member organisations can:

  • know about what other members organisations are offering
  • collaborate and share experiences and thus offer more and better services to the children and families
  • provide information so families and non-menber organisations can find out who is working in this field and what help is available

‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.’ Socrates

Our values as members of HELP:

  • Whenever possible we promote the term ‘High Learning Potential’ instead of words such as gifted, highly able, etc, which have connotations of elitism and/or academic ability and achievement being the only/most important measurement;
  • We develop positive partnerships (even if everyone is not always in total agreement), including the sharing of information and skills to offer better support and provision while recognising each other’s scarce resources;
  • We collaborate with parents/carers, schools/educators, educational psychologists and other professionals;
  • We participate in an informal network where everyone can speak freely and confidentiality is respected, and sub-groups can decide to meet at any time or communicate via other means;
  • We respect the different environments in which we live and work, each contributing what we can as individuals and/or as part of an organisation;
  • We constantly strive to improve the quality of what we offer.

Our values in relation to the children:

  • We work with integrity for the good of the children so they can thrive; (Society needs well educated HLP children who also have acquired a sense of responsibility but, to maximise the chances of this happening, the help and support we offer them should be for their own sakes and without expectations of what they might do for society in return).
  • We encourage their creativity, practical skills, participation in the arts, and personal development (including social skills and leadership) as being equally important as academic excellence;
  • Our definition of ‘family’ is whatever that means for each particular child;
  • Our support for children, parents/carers, educators, etc, will probably vary from country to country because of differences in cultures, people involved, and resources such as access to funding, premises, staff, and volunteers.

Attributes and values we encourage the children to develop:

  • A love of learning;
  • Motivation to achieve and a belief that they can do so;
  • Courage to be the best they can be and to try new things;
  • Pride in what they achieve (without becoming boastful);
  • Wisdom (as well as knowledge and skills), an understanding of themselves and their relationship to others;
  • The ability to co-operate with others and a willingness to do so;
  • A sense of responsibility towards others and to society;
  • An ethical framework within which to make decisions and the courage to act in the way they believe to be right.

The network welcomes all European organisations involved in helping HLP children and their families (whether or not the children these organisations work with have been formally identified as being gifted or of high potential in terms of learning and/or achievement).