Pupils have created portraits of footballer Marcus Rashford to thank him for sticking up for struggling families.

The youngsters at Stratford School Academy in Forest Gate wanted to show their support for Rashford’s campaign following the second government U-turn on free school meals.

Noshin Anjum, 13, said: “We wanted to show our thanks to Marcus Rashford for standing up for families across the UK who are struggling to provide for their children.”

%image(15261231, type="article-full", alt="The portraits were influenced by biro artist Mark Powell.")

The students at the school in Upton Lane seized the challenge of creating portraits influenced by Mark Powell.

Known for creating the sitter’s portrait on printed text which has a personal meaning to the sitter, Powell has been recognised for adding a melancholy mood and deeper context to his portraits.

%image(15261233, type="article-full", alt="The pupils used a letter from Marcus Rashford to the government as a background to add extra meaning to the portraits.")

Moreom Ahmed, also 13, said: “We want everyone to know that we created our portraits of Marcus Rashford to show we all support his campaign and no child should ever go hungry”.

%image(15261234, type="article-full", alt="Rashford led a campaign which forced the government to provide children with free school meals over the holidays.")

Influenced by Mark Powell and Rashford’s tenacity to get something done, and done well – students spent three weeks creating near perfect portraits in biro on a photocopy of the letter Rashford sent the government about ending child poverty.

Some students created collaged newspaper backgrounds.

%image(15261236, type="article-full", alt="Teacher, Alex Donohoe said: "I am so proud of our students."")

They are smart, kind, creative and resilient – and by rising to this creative challenge, not only have they persevered with their cause, they are visibly showing their support not just for students in Newham but across the UK.”