Glitter hit 'recommended for GCSE project'

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The Independent Online

A number one chart hit by convicted paedophile Gary Glitter appeared on a GCSE music assignment as suggested listening for students, it was reported today.

The Assessment and Qualification Alliance (AQA), the largest of the three English exam boards, recommended Glitter's 1970s hit I'm The Leader Of The Gang among songs for "related listening" for GCSE music coursework.

Glitter's name was spotted on an exam paper sent out on November 1 to thousands of teenagers by a deputy head teacher, who told The Sun he thought it was "completely inappropriate".

The inclusion of the former glam rocker's song has provoked anger among child abuse campaigners and was condemned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

A department spokeswoman said last night: "This is unacceptable. The song should be removed."

The deputy head, from Windsor, Berkshire, said he had asked the exam board to withdraw the paper but was told it was too late.

The teacher, a father-of-two who did not want to be named, said: "He's a convicted paedophile jailed for sexually abusing kids. It's completely inappropriate to recommend him as listening material.

"Boys and girls of 15 or 16 who select this song will go straight to the internet to find Glitter's music. I dread to think what they may find searching online for him."

An AQA spokesman was quoted in The Sun as saying: "We have only just become aware that there are complaints and as a result are reviewing whether it is appropriate to have Gary Glitter in the coursework.

"Until the situation is reviewed we are unable to say what decision will be made."

But campaigners warned Glitter could earn royalties from additional sales and called for the song to be removed from the paper.

Dr Michele Elliot, director of children's charity Kidscape, said: "AQA need to get Glitter off there. It sends totally the wrong message to paedophiles' victims. Thousands of children take this exam. If they buy his song it could be a nice earner for him.

"One way to show we dislike his abuse of children is to cut off the money he lives on. It's in the hands of AQA to do that."

Shy Keenan and Sara Payne, founders of Phoenix Survivors, which campaigns for child sex abuse victims, said in a statement: "This stonking great child molester should crawl back under the rock he came from, not be celebrated for his music. We'll campaign to have any reference to him taken out."

Conservative Shadow Minister for Children Tim Loughton told the newspaper: "I can't believe AQA could not find a song from an alternative musician."

Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - served nearly three years in a Vietnam jail for sex offences against young girls.

In 1999, he was jailed in Britain for possessing child porn images on his computer.

When he returned to Britain he was ordered by magistrates to sign on the sex offenders' register and give details of his name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number.