A HEAD teacher has defended a study of The Simpsons by 12-year-old students following a complaint by a parent.

Geoff Tinker, head of Kingsmead Community School in Wiveliscombe, spoke out after John Reynolds set up a petition to protest at the use of the popular American cartoon as part of the year eight English curriculum.

Mr Reynolds thinks the school is “setting the bar too low”.

He has written to the school’s Governors to complain and his petition had already gained nearly 150 signatures by the beginning of this week.

He said: “I have no argument with the show. In fact I find it witty and clever and watch it at home.

“But I do think we should raise the level a little for our children. Children should be studying text of the highest quality and I don’t believe this fits the bill.”

Kingsmead’s head teacher, Geoff Tinker, said: “The Governors have looked into this in great detail and rejected Mr Reynolds’ claim – a decision I completely endorse.

“We are one of several schools in Somerset who use The Simpsons as part of Key Stage 3 media projects.

“We live in a media-rich society and it’s important our students are critical readers of complex media texts, such as this, which includes satire and humour.

“Our English results are excellent and I have no qualms about using this subject matter at all.”