education

Marcus Rashford to be studied by GCSE media studies students



GCSE media studies students will learn about footballer Marcus Rashford’s use of social media after his influential campaigning on child poverty and racism in sport.

The Manchester United and England star has been added to the course by exam board AQA. It is hoped his inclusion will enable pupils to study his use of social media as a way of influencing, but it will also enable them to learn about the social and race issues he raises.

Other additions to the course include Black Widow from the Marvel Universe, the Kiss Radio Breakfast Show, Heat magazine and the TV series His Dark Materials based on the novels by Sir Philip Pullman.

Rashford is a prominent food poverty campaigner and has consistently been a thorn in the side of government ministers, forcing a series of U-turns over free school meals at the height of the Covid pandemic.

He has also been outspoken about racism in football and highlighted the torrent of abuse he received on social media after Manchester United’s Europa League final loss.

Just months later he said he will “never apologise” for who he is after being subjected to further racist abuse after he missed a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy. His teammates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were also targeted with hateful messages on social media.

Rashford has repeatedly used his social media platforms to further causes he supports and regularly highlights food poverty issues as well as ensuring that children have access to books.

He became the youngest person to top the Sunday Times Giving List by raising £20 million in donations from supermarkets for groups tackling child poverty. Rashford, who received free school meals himself, was made an MBE in the delayed 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

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Sandra Allan, AQA’s head of curriculum for creative arts, said: “I’m really excited by the changes we’ve made – they’re engaging and relevant and will inspire and motivate.

“Marcus Rashford is one of the most influential and inspirational young people in the UK, so students can learn a huge amount from how he uses social media to make a real impact.

“It’s not just an opportunity for them to learn about social media – it’s also a great way to learn about important social and race issues as part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in the curriculum.”

She added: “There has never been a better time to become a media studies student.”

Additional reporting by PA



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