Gary Glitter song pulled from U.K. test

Musician was convicted of child molestation

LONDON -- A British exam board is recalling a high school music test that included convicted child molester Gary Glitter's music in its "suggested listening" section, board officials said Monday.

The test asked British students to compose an original song "that relies on changes of tempo or style," said Claire Ellis, spokeswoman for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. Students were given a series of examples they could model their songs on, among them Glitter's 1970s hit "I'm the Leader of the Gang."

Like many of Glitter's foot-stomping anthems, the song was once a chart-topper. But the glam rocker and his music have been shunned since the singer was convicted of abusing two young girls in Vietnam.

"We are asking schoolchildren to use his songs -- and Gary Glitter -- as a role model, as someone who has written a wonderful song," said Michele Elliott, head of anti-child-abuse group Kidscape. "The role model is morally decrepit. It's just inappropriate."

In a statement the exam board said it regretted any offense that the inclusion of Glitter's song might have caused.

"We are writing to all our centers to recall the paper and issue replacements with reference to the song removed," the statement said.

The alliance's song-writing assignment is part of an optional music test taken by 14- to 16-year-olds across Britain.