One always has to be a bit careful about getting up in arms too quickly about reforms in school education. We really dont know for a fact yet that Mice and Men has been "banned" because Mr Gove doesn't like it (though I am tempted to say that the fact that such a rumour is even plausible says something about how we have come to take political "interference" in the syllabus for granted); but we can be pretty certain that there will be thousands of schools across the land flogging off their Steinbecks by the dozen for next to nothing.
It's also the case that the insistence in the Department of Education document on certain categories of literature (at least one play by Shakespeare, at least one 19th century novel) are minumum requirements, and nothing is to stop more being taught. Yet the exam for English Literature GCSE really doesn't have that many "set books", and anyway the importance of getting the kids to get the top grades in order to make sure the school has a good place in the League tables is not an incentive to wide and imaginative exploration.
With a bit of perseverance you will get through to the nitty gritty via this website . But I reckoned from looking at one specification that we are currently dealing with: one Shakepeare play (plus a performed version), selections of the work of one "old" poet (from Chaucer to Wilfred Owen), one modern play, one prose work "from a different culture" (that's where Mice and Men comes in), one "oldish" novel (eg Pride and Prejudice or Animal Farm), and selections from work of one modern poet (eg Seamus Heaney, Carol-Ann Duffy). So, once the DoE rules are taken into account, there wont be very much room for anything else.
What I soon became curious about, however, was what the rules actually meant, and what counted as fulfilling the rules. My first query concerned Ireland. I know James Joyce isn't likely to get set for GCSE, but would Ulysses only count as sufficiently "English" if it actually appeared before Irish independence (as it happens, it did: published in February 1922, when independent Eire was formally established, signed and sealed in December . . . Phew). But I neednt have worried, the prescription carefully says post 1914 fiction or drama from the "British Isles". So Southern Ireland is in, whatever.
But there did turn out to be a broader question, which produced tricky questions of definition. Would something written by Auden in the USA count, or Robert Graves on Majorca?