Research commissioned by Penguin Random House has revealed only 0.7% of English Literature GCSE students in England study a book by a writer of color while only 7% study a book by a woman.

English students generally study for their GCSEs in Years 10 and 11, equivalent to the first two years of high school in the US. Students specialize in their final two years of school and at university; so, for the majority, their academic study of literature ends with their GCSEs aged 16.