NADHIM Zahawi will read the riot act to woke exam bosses for dumping white poets from the syllabus in the name of diversity.
The horrified Education Secretary yesterday accused OCR of “cultural vandalism” after it removed literary legends Philip Larkin and Wilfred Owen from its GCSE curriculum.
Nadhim Zahawi will read the riot act to woke exam bosses for dumping white poets from the syllabus in the name of diversity
Mr Zahawi accused the exam bosses of ‘cultural vandalism’ after it removed literary legends Philip Larkin, above, and Wilfred Owen from its GCSE curriculum
All but one of the new writers added to the exam board’s approved list is from an ethnic minority.
Disabled and LGBTQ poets have also been added as part of OCR’s “exciting and diverse” shake-up.
But slamming the clearout of white writers, Mr Zahawi fumed: “Larkin and Owen are two of our finest poets. Removing their work from the curriculum is cultural vandalism.
“Their work must be passed on to future generations – as it was to me.”
He said Larkin’s poems helped him learn English when he arrived as a refugee from Iraq aged nine.
Mr Zahawi will personally telephone OCR chiefs today to “forcefully” make the point that inclusivity should not come at the expense of core authors.
The Minister lashed out on Twitter: “We must not deny future students the chance to make a similarly powerful connection with a great British author, or miss out on the joy of knowing his work.”
Thomas Hardy, John Keats and Seamus Heaney have also been culled from the syllabus.
OCR insisted its overhaul will let kids read poets that have never featured on the curriculum before.
It said: “Of the 15 poets whose work has been added, 14 are poets of colour.
“Six are black women, one is of South Asian heritage. Our new poets also include disabled and LGBTQ+ voices.”
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