A “child genius” who is starring on a TV show has been left without a school place for next year.
Aliyah Garfield has an IQ of 135 and has already skipped two school years ahead but now faces the prospect of being schooled at home in Hove.
The 10-year-old’s mother Shoshanna and step-father Sasha cannot find a school that is able to take her and accommodate her needs.
Having had to be removed from her previous school due to bullying – the schools the family have approached are either full or say they cannot continue her ‘accelerated education’.
They have approached both private and state schools.
Ms Garfield said the situation is demoralising but they hope to “make the best out of whatever happens”.
The 46-year-old psychologist said: “There is a lot of misunderstanding about acceleration. A genius is defined as the top 2% of the population.
“There are a lot of children out there whose needs are not being met – the issue is not as isolated as it is made out to be as people do not recognise it.”
Aliyah features in the Channel 4 programme Child Genius which pits gifted children against each other in challenges to test brain power.
To help boost her intellect she has a meticulously planned diet alongside an intensive study and exercise routine.
Denise Yates, of Potential Plus, a charity which helps gifted children, said schools struggle to cope with pupils on the extremes of education.
She said there used to be a structure for them but the present government has dismantled it. “Now we are seeing the negative impacts,” she said, “Lots of schools do not have the time to put in place a framework for these children.”
Brighton and Hove City Council said it could not comment on individual cases.