Gender neutrality and the war on women’s literature

Education has become embroiled in a culture war and rather than extricating itself politely, it just keeps digging. What gets taught has long been subject to debate: move beyond the basics and you rapidly head into dangerous terrain (although, look hard enough, and you will find those prepared to argue that even maths and spelling are racist). Now it’s not just taught content but the name of modules that is under the woke microscope. One of the UK’s leading exam boards, OCR, has proposed renaming the ‘Women in Literature’ section of its A level English courses. It is taking votes on new titles: ‘gender in literature’ or ‘representing gender’. But

Prepare for the next A-level fiasco

When I was at school, the best grade you could hope to achieve on your termly report card was A5, with A being the highest grade for attainment, and 5 being the lowest grade for effort. I expect there will be a lot more students hoping for, and outright expecting, their own A5s this summer.  In light of the news that GCSEs and A-levels exams will be cancelled this year, Ofqual has now confirmed that grades will be decided by teachers. Schools can use mock exams, coursework and essays, or assessments set by exam boards, but these are optional, will not be taken in exam conditions, nor decide final grades. Make no mistake: