Leaders of English-medium schools have accused the exams authority of breaking a government pledge to offer a bilingual version of the new liberal studies exam. The launch of the new subject has been thrown into chaos by the change, which was announced just days before the start of the term, according to top schools' groups the Grants School Council and the Association of English Medium Secondary Schools. The two groups, which together represent all 112 English-medium secondary schools, have written to Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung objecting to the scrapping of plans to offer a bilingual version of the exam from 2012 to 2015. Grant Schools Council chairman George Tam Siu-ping said the Education Bureau agreed in 2006, after calls from the two organisations, that the bilingual paper would be offered to the first groups of students taking the new curriculum. 'This has broken the relationship of trust between the schools, the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority [HKEAA] and the [Education Bureau],' he said. 'We want the bureau to overturn this ill-advised decision by the HKEAA as soon as possible, so that schools are not left in confusion and children are not disadvantaged.' Mr Tam said the paper was needed because most schools that taught liberal studies under the outgoing A-level system had done so in Chinese and it would take several years to train teachers and develop materials to offer it in English for the new exam. If children were taught in English by inadequately trained teachers, they would not have a fair chance in the exam, he said. Clara Lau, chairwoman of the Association of English Medium Secondary Schools, said: 'This is a very bad way to start the reforms. It is going to cause quite a lot of chaos. 'It really hurts. The teachers have been preparing to offer the subject for many months and then they can't. And someone with no experience of that subject, like a general humanities teacher, has to take it over at short notice. We want to talk to Mr Suen ... and we want the bureau to honour its promise to schools.' An HKEAA spokeswoman said the policy had been changed to bring it into line with the revised medium-of-instruction policy announced in January. Students had to decide whether to take the exam in Chinese or English on registration. An Education Bureau spokeswoman said the bureau supported the change.