Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Glitter hit axed from music GCSE

Gary Glitter
Glitter served a 27-month prison sentence in Vietnam

England's largest exam board is to remove a Gary Glitter song from its GCSE music syllabus.

The convicted paedophile's 1970s chart hit, I'm the Leader of the Gang, was listed as "related listening" in coursework for the AQA's music GCSE.

The government said the song's inclusion was "totally unacceptable" and called for it to be removed.

The AQA exam board said that it regretted any offence caused and was recalling the paper.

No teacher should be in the position of having to discuss this man's work with the young people in their class
Dr John Dunford

An AQA spokeswoman said: "We regret any offence that has been caused by its inclusion and we will be contacting our centres and recalling the paper."

New papers will be reissued without the related listening list that included the Glitter song.

Concern was raised by an unnamed deputy head teacher quoted in the Sun newspaper.

He told the paper: "He's a convicted paedophile jailed for sexually abusing kids. It's completely inappropriate to recommend him as listening material.

"Boys and girls of 15 or 16 who select this song will go straight to the internet to find Glitter's music."


Dr John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Schools registered with this examination board depend on the board to choose appropriate texts, and will have been dismayed at the choice of a Gary Glitter song.

"No teacher should be in the position of having to discuss this man's work with the young people in their class, and all teachers will have rejected the idea of using this material.

"I welcome the withdrawal of this song, which should never have been included in the first place."

Campaigners had warned that Glitter might get royalties as a result of its inclusion in the GCSE.

Director of children's charity Kidscape Michelle Elliot said: "It sends totally the wrong message to paedophiles' victims.

"Thousands of children take this exam. If they buy his song it could be a nice earner for him."

Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, served nearly three years in a Vietnam jail for sex offences against young girls.

He has now returned to Britain and is on the sex offenders register.

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