The Real Problem with the new English Lit GCSE


Life Beyond School

Earlier, I read the Department for Education’s release entitled “English literature GCSE: a myth buster“, outlining what people had misunderstood and clarifying the new regulations for the English Literature GCSE.

I’ll leave you to read the details, but my interpretation was that the DfE has missed the point of the people’s protestations completely. Yes, there is the problem that many schools and pupils will do the bare minimum, namely:

“a Shakespeare play in full, poetry from 1789 including the romantics, a 19th-century novel, and fiction or drama from the British Isles post-1914.”

In schools that are being pressured to do better, or schools with a lack of funding, as you’ve specified certain texts to be covered, those are all they’ll be covering. Some schools and syllabi will probably specify more than one be done in each category to hedge their bets.

Not that these classical, British texts should be banned in…

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