An organisation representing English teachers has launched a scathing attack on the new GCSE curriculum, claiming it will put teenagers off studying literature.
The new syllabus will not include several classic American works, including John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, reportedly at the insistence of the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.
The chair of the National Association for the Teaching of English, Bethan Marshall, told the Sunday Times: “It’s a syllabus out of the 1940s and rumour has it Michael Gove, who read literature, designed it himself. Schools will be incredibly depressed when they see it."
She argued that studying 19th century British works would deter students from continuing with the subject, saying: "Kids will be put off doing A-level literature by this. Many teenagers will think that being made to read Dickens aged 16 is just tedious. This will just grind children down.”