London, Nov 10 : Chiefs of Britain's biggest exam board, the Assessment and Qualification Alliance, were blasted by a furious Deputy Head for having recommended pop paedophile Gary Glitter's song to kids.
The board had listed Glitter's 1970s smash 'I'm The Leader Of The Gang' as "related listening" for GCSE music coursework, earning it the ire of the Deputy Head, who called it "completely inappropriate".
Parents and child abuse campaigners also stated that vulnerable students should not have been directed towards the pop pervert's songs, and they were further infuriated by the fact that Glitter could rake in more royalties from additional sales.
The Deputy Head, a dad of two, was horrified to see Glitter's name included on the exam paper, sent to thousands of teenagers, including his own daughter, this month.
"He's a convicted paedophile jailed for sexually abusing kids. It's completely inappropriate to recommend him as listening material," the Sun quoted him as saying.
"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," he said.
The teacher, from Windsor, Berks, asked AQA to withdraw the paper, but was told that it was too late, with a spokesman of theirs adding that Glitter's hit was a "really good" example of a popular song.
"A national exam board should have the basic common sense not to recommend past works of a paedophile to teenagers," the Deputy Head, who asked not to be named in case his daughter is penalized in the exam, added.
Dr Michele Elliot, who is the director of children's charity Kidscape, has insisted the papers be reissued.
"AQA need to get Glitter off there. It sends totally the wrong message to pedophiles' victims. Thousands of children take this exam. If they buy his song it could be a nice earner for him," she said. "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," she added.
Anti-child abuse campaigners Shy Keenan and Sara Payne called use of Glitter's song "disgusting".
"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," they said in a statement. AQA's website states they are the largest of the three English exam boards. They are responsible for setting exams and marking. They even have a Child Protection Policy which states it offers "guidance" to ensure kids are safeguarded from inappropriate study material.
"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," spokesman Simon Buck said.
Conservative Shadow Minister for Children Tim Loughton said: "I can't believe AQA could not find a song from an alternative musician."