YOUNG VOICES

New English A-Level Will Include Lessons On Russell Brand And Dizzee Rascal

09/01/2015 13:38 GMT | Updated 09/01/2015 13:59 GMT
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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Russell Brand poses for photographs as he arrives to deliver The Reading Agency Lecture at The Institute of Education on November 25, 2014 in London, England. Russell Brand will deliver 'a manifesto on reading' which will be in part personal, sharing his own experience of books and reading while growing up in the UK. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Controversial comedian Russell Brand will join Dizzee Rascal in the new English A-level syllabus to be studied from September 2015.

The plans, along with 35 other new specifications, have gained the approval of regulators Ofqual, who say the texts should be included to reflect a broader use of modern English.

The exam board Oxford, Cambridge, and Royal Society of Arts (OCR) raised eyebrows when they first proposed the changes in May, among which included evidence given by Brand to a select committee inquiring into drugs, and a Newsnight interview between Dizzee Rascal and Jeremy Paxman.

Also among the preliminary plans were tweets by feminist writer Caitlin Moran, pieces from the Secret Footballer, who has written anonymously about professional football, and memoirs such as Twelve Years a Slave.

The head of GCSE and A-level reform for OCR, Paul Dodd, said Ofqual did not see their inclusion as an issue. The Independent has reported that sources within the then education secretary Michael Gove's office dismissed the reports that they would be approved when they were first put forward.

Among the aims of the 37 new sullabi is to ensure students can no longer avoid reading a whole book for their English GCSE by setting questions which relate to the wider themes. Students were previously able to get away with learning only particular sections.