Child genius’s search for a school

Aliyah Garfield, 10

Aliyah Garfield, 10

First published in News by , Reporter

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.

Comments (10)

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7:08am Mon 28 Jul 14

leftysmellbags says...

Its not always good to be too smart, I wonder how this child will cope socially when she gets to adulthood and is she missing out on her childhood. Be aware parents and think about what you are doing. Its not all about your aspirations.
Its not always good to be too smart, I wonder how this child will cope socially when she gets to adulthood and is she missing out on her childhood. Be aware parents and think about what you are doing. Its not all about your aspirations. leftysmellbags
  • Score: 37

7:28am Mon 28 Jul 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

I always feel sorry for child prodigies and covered many stories about super brain kids when I was a journalist. The saddest story was the youngster Sufiah Yosuf.
Take a google. They always seems such unhappy adults recalling a childhood of books and isolation which even into adulthood set them apart from their peer group and so many ended up with strained relationships and even estranged from parents.
Send her to Varndean and let her be herself, she will flourish if it's in her to succeed and be happy. You have the next 50 years of your working life to have a head in books and study, childhood is the only time you are completely free to do childish things and having mates is the most important foundation of a childhood.
I always feel sorry for child prodigies and covered many stories about super brain kids when I was a journalist. The saddest story was the youngster Sufiah Yosuf. Take a google. They always seems such unhappy adults recalling a childhood of books and isolation which even into adulthood set them apart from their peer group and so many ended up with strained relationships and even estranged from parents. Send her to Varndean and let her be herself, she will flourish if it's in her to succeed and be happy. You have the next 50 years of your working life to have a head in books and study, childhood is the only time you are completely free to do childish things and having mates is the most important foundation of a childhood. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 46

8:37am Mon 28 Jul 14

Boshay says...

Poor kid, she's a child not a machine to be 'tuned' by her parents.
Poor kid, she's a child not a machine to be 'tuned' by her parents. Boshay
  • Score: 30

9:54am Mon 28 Jul 14

Quiterie says...

It's not really true to say she's been "left without a school place".

She's been offered a school place. Her parents just haven't accepted it and are home schooling her.

Good luck to her, but "a meticulously planned diet alongside an intensive study and exercise routine" don't sound much fun to me. As the people have mentioned above I also wonder how she will fit in socially.
It's not really true to say she's been "left without a school place". She's been offered a school place. Her parents just haven't accepted it and are home schooling her. Good luck to her, but "a meticulously planned diet alongside an intensive study and exercise routine" don't sound much fun to me. As the people have mentioned above I also wonder how she will fit in socially. Quiterie
  • Score: 25

10:07am Mon 28 Jul 14

jamus77 says...

My heart goes out to this little girl. I saw Child Genius last night and her mother clearly has unresolved issues. She kept talking about 'creating something' as though her daughter were an inanimate object, a machine, or a piece of art. Horrible. Children are not vanity projects and should not be treated as such. If anyone has seen the spoof dog-show movie Best in Show this woman is eerily like Parker Posey's character Meg Swan....
My heart goes out to this little girl. I saw Child Genius last night and her mother clearly has unresolved issues. She kept talking about 'creating something' as though her daughter were an inanimate object, a machine, or a piece of art. Horrible. Children are not vanity projects and should not be treated as such. If anyone has seen the spoof dog-show movie Best in Show this woman is eerily like Parker Posey's character Meg Swan.... jamus77
  • Score: 22

10:09am Mon 28 Jul 14

Bluebeef says...

I was mesmerised (in a bad way) by the TV programme last night. What appalling human beings her parents really are: this to me is child abuse. She seemed perfectly pleasant little girl with a quite high but by no means exceptional IQ of 135: that certainly does not qualify as genius and would not even get her membership of Mensa. They are treating her as an experiment regardless of her own personal long-term mental health and well-being. and not surprise their struggling with schools: if you were a headmaster would you want that once turning up on your doorstep every day nagging about her daughter's progress.
Our approach to education is robbing enough of childhood as it is without parents interfering; let her live.
I was mesmerised (in a bad way) by the TV programme last night. What appalling human beings her parents really are: this to me is child abuse. She seemed perfectly pleasant little girl with a quite high but by no means exceptional IQ of 135: that certainly does not qualify as genius and would not even get her membership of Mensa. They are treating her as an experiment regardless of her own personal long-term mental health and well-being. and not surprise their struggling with schools: if you were a headmaster would you want that once turning up on your doorstep every day nagging about her daughter's progress. Our approach to education is robbing enough of childhood as it is without parents interfering; let her live. Bluebeef
  • Score: 34

10:52am Mon 28 Jul 14

whatevernext2013 says...

Bluebeef wrote:
I was mesmerised (in a bad way) by the TV programme last night. What appalling human beings her parents really are: this to me is child abuse. She seemed perfectly pleasant little girl with a quite high but by no means exceptional IQ of 135: that certainly does not qualify as genius and would not even get her membership of Mensa. They are treating her as an experiment regardless of her own personal long-term mental health and well-being. and not surprise their struggling with schools: if you were a headmaster would you want that once turning up on your doorstep every day nagging about her daughter's progress.
Our approach to education is robbing enough of childhood as it is without parents interfering; let her live.
watched some of this and was horrified at her mother and step father ,one already mucked up child ,her comments re most parents getting it wrong ,in my mind most parents let there children be children ,i wonder how her real father feels about the way his child is been raised ,maybe if the mother had put motherhood first instead of her job she would have raised her child differently
[quote][p][bold]Bluebeef[/bold] wrote: I was mesmerised (in a bad way) by the TV programme last night. What appalling human beings her parents really are: this to me is child abuse. She seemed perfectly pleasant little girl with a quite high but by no means exceptional IQ of 135: that certainly does not qualify as genius and would not even get her membership of Mensa. They are treating her as an experiment regardless of her own personal long-term mental health and well-being. and not surprise their struggling with schools: if you were a headmaster would you want that once turning up on your doorstep every day nagging about her daughter's progress. Our approach to education is robbing enough of childhood as it is without parents interfering; let her live.[/p][/quote]watched some of this and was horrified at her mother and step father ,one already mucked up child ,her comments re most parents getting it wrong ,in my mind most parents let there children be children ,i wonder how her real father feels about the way his child is been raised ,maybe if the mother had put motherhood first instead of her job she would have raised her child differently whatevernext2013
  • Score: 13

12:39pm Mon 28 Jul 14

ThinkBrighton says...

Quiterie wrote:
It's not really true to say she's been "left without a school place".

She's been offered a school place. Her parents just haven't accepted it and are home schooling her.

Good luck to her, but "a meticulously planned diet alongside an intensive study and exercise routine" don't sound much fun to me. As the people have mentioned above I also wonder how she will fit in socially.
Her parents have a lot to answer, they have created a very clever child who cannot relate to people in general, thats probably why she was bullied at school, what a poor little girl having to live her parents aspirations.
[quote][p][bold]Quiterie[/bold] wrote: It's not really true to say she's been "left without a school place". She's been offered a school place. Her parents just haven't accepted it and are home schooling her. Good luck to her, but "a meticulously planned diet alongside an intensive study and exercise routine" don't sound much fun to me. As the people have mentioned above I also wonder how she will fit in socially.[/p][/quote]Her parents have a lot to answer, they have created a very clever child who cannot relate to people in general, thats probably why she was bullied at school, what a poor little girl having to live her parents aspirations. ThinkBrighton
  • Score: 16

1:45pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Roundbill says...

The poor child, having to stay at home to care for her emotionally damaged parents rather than going to school and enjoying her childhood. This sad tale highlights the issue of young carers everywhere.
The poor child, having to stay at home to care for her emotionally damaged parents rather than going to school and enjoying her childhood. This sad tale highlights the issue of young carers everywhere. Roundbill
  • Score: 16

4:27pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Morpheus says...

Well let's all take note that: "hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard". If only I had been told that by my mother when I was 12.
Well let's all take note that: "hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard". If only I had been told that by my mother when I was 12. Morpheus
  • Score: 4

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