But just how advanced should the material be??
I was quite surprised to discover that Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ is on the A level syllabus. Now, don’t get me wrong – I think this is an excellent book, well worthy of study but it does contain some very adult sexual themes that I hesitate to name, for fear of attracting the wrong sort of traffic to this blog! I recognise that most 16/17 year olds of today are probably a lot more worldly-wise than I was at that age but nevertheless I would question whether all sixth-formers are comfortable with such material.
Interestingly a couple of years ago, a poem was removed from the AQA Anthology as it was deemed too violent. Was that right or should the pupils have been given the opportunity to discuss the issues raised by the poem?
I’d be interested in other views on this question. I imagine that not many parents are actually aware of the content of the books their teenagers are studying.