'We Want to Study More Women Writers and Fewer Dead White Men'

The Evening Standard (London, England), March 2, 2016 | Go to article overview

'We Want to Study More Women Writers and Fewer Dead White Men'


Byline: Anna Davis Education Editor

LONDON students and teachers are calling for more works from women and ethnic minority writers to be taught on the English GCSE and A-level curriculums.

Pupils and staff at Forest Academy in Ilford are urging exam boards to include authors such as Zadie Smith, pictured, Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison and R.K. Narayan on set text lists. The school will launch a campaign and petition tomorrow saying there are too many "white, deceased, male writers" on the current English Literature reading lists.

Teachers at the school say just 31 per cent of texts on them are written by women. They also call for more books by ethnic minority writers to be studied as part of their campaign, which will be launched to coincide with World Book Day.

English teacher Olivia Eaton, who is leading it, said: "My students come from a range of backgrounds and it's important they're able to recognise themselves and their heritage in some of the texts they study, and that they're exposed to a variety of authors and backgrounds to gain a better understanding of the society they live in. …

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