BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Features 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 11:30 GMT
Non-Shakespeare English move denied
classroom
The Bard versus the web?
Teachers have been alarmed by suggestions that GCSE pupils might be able to take English exams without studying Shakespeare.

The proposals are said to have been put forward by the government's adviser, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

Reports suggested that English students would learn about media studies and writing on the internet, but would not have to study Shakespeare.

The Department for Education has denied this, and the QCA has said it has no intention of changing the legal requirement for children to study Shakespeare and other great works of literature.


These were described as draft proposals to us ... we were horrified

Jane Lunnon, Wellington College

The reports surfaced after examination boards called meetings to brief English teachers about expected changes to syllabuses.

Jane Lunnon, the head of English at Wellington College in Reading, was present at one meeting.

She said: "I'm horrified that Shakespeare may be taken off the English syllabus to be replaced by internet studies.

"The government is very aware of what employers want but in making this change, key cultural elements of our country would be lost."

She said that the mood at the meeting was one of resignation and frustration.

"Faceless quango"

"We feel frustrated because changes are brought in by this faceless quango, the QCA, and teachers are powerless, with no voice against it."

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "Claims that ministers are considering ending the compulsory study of Shakespeare and classic authors by English students are completely and utterly untrue.

""The study of both Shakespeare and classic pre-1914 authors is a compulsory part of the national curriculum and will remain so."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

Talking PointTALKING POINT
The web or the Bard
Which is more useful?
See also:

31 Oct 00 | Education
English gives UK 'cutting edge'
07 Aug 00 | Education
Teachers 'need Shakespeare lessons'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories