The Government are reducing the amount of literature in GCSE English so that it makes up only 20 per cent. of the examination. One of the questions in the 2006 GCSE English exam was:
"Describe the room you're sitting in."
The chief examiner of GCSE English decreed that pupils who began their answer with a swear word—"Expletive off"—should get 7.5 per cent. of the available marks. If they added an exclamation mark, they would get 11 per cent. Does the Secretary of State believe that we drive up standards in English by downgrading the importance of literature and rewarding the use of bad language?
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