Rashford included in GCSE media studies course due to Man Utd star’s political activism on social media

The 23-year-old England international has been active on social media to tackle food poverty, homelessness, illiteracy and racism in recent years.

Students will investigate Marcus Rashford’s use of social media as a tool for activism as part of their GCSE media studies this year.

The England international has used his social media accounts to tackle food poverty by raising money for charity and persuading the UK government to continue providing free school meals to children.

Rashford, 23, has used his online presence to fight homelessness, start a book club and speak out against the racist abuse he and other footballers have also suffered in recent years.

What was said?

Students will learn how the striker uses social media for causes such as the exam board seeks to modernize and diversify its curriculum.

“This new addition to the course is part of our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We are also setting up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Expert Panel to review representation in curriculum and assessment – and to ensure that decisions are informed by people who represent the full diversity of society”, a statement on the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) website.

“Marcus Rashford has successfully used social media to promote his campaigns on food poverty, homelessness and children’s books, and influenced government policy on food stamps during school holidays. He has also been praised for his comments and response to the racist abuse he and other black England footballers received, following the Euro 2020 final this summer.

“Last year he encouraged many individuals and commercial companies to participate in fundraising and direct action to help those in need, receiving an MBE for services for vulnerable children in the UK at the height of the pandemic. Sunday Times Giving List after helping to raise £20m for food charity FareShare.”

AQA Creative Arts Program Manager Sandra Allan said: “Marcus Rashford is one of the UK’s most influential and inspiring young people so students can learn a lot from how they use 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 social and racial issues important as part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in the program.

“Media Studies is a contemporary and interactive subject that encourages students to develop their creative, analytical, research and communication skills, exploring a range of media forms and perspectives. There has never been a better time to become a media studies student.”

Why is Rashford so active on social media?

Rashford, who was awarded an MBE last year for his charity work, said he would continue to promote good causes and his fight against food poverty in England.

write in The spectator this month, he opened up about the motivation behind his activism, saying, “I would be doing this community and my family a disservice if I didn’t use my platform to speak out on behalf of the millions whose voices are not heard.”

He added: “What interests me is working together to find lasting solutions. The long-term effects of a global pandemic will not be solved with short-term relief programs. So now is the time for all of us to unite with the passion we saw during the Euros and make sure that every child in this country has a fair chance and that child hunger is eradicated.”

Further reading