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Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Children 'being sold short' on literature


This week schools begin to wind down for the Christmas holidays. Novelist and writer Josephine Hart is concerned that the teaching of English literature is in decline, and that the country's great literary heritage is at risk of becoming the preserve of just an elite.

Last year almost 30% of GCSE students failed to take the English Literature exam, and critics say there is an increasing reliance on extracts rather than the use of complete books.

Ms Hart investigates whether the teaching of English literature in schools is declining.

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