About ECHA

ECHA is an international organisation of researchers, teachers, school administrators, and parents who are concerned with giftedness, talent, and high ability. Its goal is to promote awareness of gifted children and to provide information to the public on the best development of gifted young people. ECHA is a private non-profit organisation. It enjoys consultative status as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the Council of Europe.

Goals of ECHA

Throughout Europe there is a growing awareness of the needs of our most able individuals; in recent years increasing interest in this area of child development has generated new forms of practice in education, numerous research programmes and studies, a growth in the number of societies for parents of highly able children and, indeed, a growth in concern for highly able people of all ages. In response to this development Prof. Pieter Span took the initiative in founding the European Council for High Ability (ECHA) in Utrecht in 1987. Prof. Joan Freeman became ECHA’s first president, remaining in office until 1992.

ECHA has been generated by an overwhelming demand for coordination from most European countries, both West and East. The major goal of ECHA is to act as a communications network to promote the exchange of information among people interested in high ability – educators, researchers, psychologists, parents and the highly able themselves. As the ECHA network grows, provision for highly able people improves and these improvements are beneficial to all members of society.

The basis for this specifically European Council comes from a belief in our common cultural heritage which is distinct from that of other parts of the world. Although Europe is made up of different countries with many languages, we share the traditions and outlooks of societies in which education has been widely available for centuries. We also share the same kinds of problems, and it makes sense to work towards their solution together.

The European Council for High Ability aims to advance the study and development of potential excellence in people. This enterprise calls for easy access to communication so that new discoveries, whether scientific or the fruits of experience, can be readily shared between members of ECHA and others who are concerned about high ability.

Secretariat of ECHA

Johanna Raffan
NACE National Office
P.O. Box 242, Oxford
United Kingdom
Phone / fax: +44 1865 861 879
email: [email protected]