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22nd Sep 2021

Marcus Rashford’s use of social media to be studied by GCSE media students

Daniel Brown

“Marcus Rashford is one of the most influential and inspirational young people in the UK”

Marcus Rashford’s social media usage is set to be added to the GCSE media studies curriculum.

Exam board AQA have confirmed that the Manchester United player will be added to the course from this month onwards following his use of social media in order to promote important charitable work and campaign against racism in sport.

As part of the exam board’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, the introduction of Rashford to the GCSE course could mark the beginning of a number of new additions, with AQA also setting up an expert group to contemplate representation in assessment and also the curriculum.

As well as allowing students to learn about and study the social and racial issues that Rashford has helped to combat, it is anticipated that the addition of the 23-year-old on the course will enable pupils to examine his usage of social media as a way of ‘influencing’.

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

“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.

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

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Englishman started a campaign with the aim of persuading Boris Johnson and the rest of the government to provide free meals throughout the school holidays to vulnerable children in England.

In addition to this, he used his social media platforms to ensure that all pupils had access to books.

Throughout the summer, Rashford was subject to a torrent of racial abuse on social media. In May, following Manchester United’s Europa League final loss, he showed a number of racist messages that he had received.

Just two months later, after England had suffered defeat in the final of Euro 2020 to Italy, the 23-year-old was again subject to racist abuse after missing his penalty in the shootout.

Rashford said that he was sorry and that he ‘didn’t know how to put into words how he was feeling’, but that he will “never apologise” for who he is.

After raising £20million in donations from supermarkets for groups tackling child poverty, Rashford became the youngest person to top the Sunday Times Giving List.

He was also made an MBE in the delayed 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

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