Children are turning their backs on studying great literature, according to a new study. How can we encourage students to discover the joys about reading literary classics and hone their debate skills in the classroom during lively discussions? One English teacher looks at how students can be tempted to continue to study the subject beyond their GCSE exam: ‘...The latest research from the Independent Schools Council paints a bleak picture, as applicants to study an English A level fell by 8.4 per cent last year, the largest decline in 17 years. But this will not surprise English teachers. A quick search on edu-Twitter turns up hundreds of threads of teachers who are concerned about the fall in students taking up their beloved subject. With the government ploughing millions into boosting the number of students taking Stem subjects, it is up to us to buck this trend; we need to unite to reinvigorate students’ passion for English. But many fear that it is the rigidity and dullness of Michael Gove’s 2015 GCSE spec that is putting students off...' Haili Hughes is an English teacher at Saddleworth School in Oldham, Greater Manchester. https://www.tes.com/news/a-level-english-dying-can-we-save-it What are your views about the issue? Have your students enjoyed studying the subject at A level? What are your students’ common concerns/criticisms about the subject? Is there too much content to cram at GCSE that it turns children off studying the subject further? Are the text choices and language questions at the heart of the problem? Would it help including more modern texts at A level? What do you think needs to be done to stop the downward trend?