'Championing the rights of children'

Syal but no Steinbeck in English GCSE

Garry Thu 29 May 2014 12:53

Wolverhampton-born Meera Syal and Indian-born George Orwell rub shoulders with Shakespeare and Dickens in a new GCSE English literature book list.

But the AQA exam board's proposed set texts for England's schools do not include any American novels or plays.

There have been protests and online petitions over the OCR exam board's dropping of US authors such as John Steinbeck or Arthur Miller.

Education Secretary Michael Gove rejected claims of any "ban".

Sherlock Holmes also makes an appearance in the AQA's draft list, in The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle, Alan Bennett's History Boys is a drama option and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade thunders in as a set text for poetry.

Mockingbird row
Earlier this week, Mr Gove wrote in the Daily Telegraph that the reforms to GCSEs had been intended to widen the range of literature taught in secondary schools.

Beyond a set of core requirements, Mr Gove said exam boards had no restrictions on their choice of authors and suggestions of a book ban for works such as To Kill a Mockingbird were "rooted in fiction".

Read more... (BBC News - 29 May)