Marcus Rashford’s social media usage added to GCSE media studies curriculum

The football player has had significant influence on social issues in recent months.

GCSE media studies students will learn about footballer Marcus Rashford’s use of social media for the first time following his influential charitable work and his stance against racism in sport.

Exam board AQA has added the player’s social media use to the course from this month following his increased public profile and influence on a number of social issues.

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At a glance: 5 key points

- The new addition to the GCSE course is part of the exam board’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

- AQA is also setting up an expert group to consider representation in the curriculum and assessment.

- Rashford launched a campaign to persuade the Government to provide free meals to vulnerable pupils in England throughout the school holidays during the pandemic, forcing a series of Government U-turns.

-In May, the 23-year-old highlighted the torrent of racist messages he had received on social media after Manchester United’s Europa League final loss.

-In July, Rashford said he was sorry for his missed penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy but said he will “never apologise” for who he is after he suffered racist abuse on social media.

What’s been said

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.”

Background

Rashford has successfully used social media to promote his campaigns on child food poverty, as well as ensuring all pupils 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.

Additional reporting by PA.

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