Exam board drops YouTube star Zoella from the GCSE syllabus after she posts ‘best sex toy’ reviews

  • Exam board AQA said Zoe Sugg, 30, would be removed from media studies  
  • Review ‘The Best Sex Toys to Spice Up Your Life in 2021’ was put on her website
  • AQA head of curriculum said her recent content isn’t suitable for GCSE students  

An exam board has dropped YouTube star Zoella from its GCSE syllabus after she posted a sex toy review online. 

UK exam board AQA said 30-year-old Zoe Sugg would be removed from its media studies curriculum after an article headlined The Best Sex Toys to Spice Up Your Life in 2021 appeared on her website. 

Miss Sugg started her YouTube career in 2009 and has accrued 15million subscribers on the platform and 1.1million followers on Instagram.   

On January 13, Zoella’s website reviewed a range of vibrators including a ‘Rampant Rabbit G Spot Stroking Vibrator’, a Womanizer Duo Rabbit Vibrator,’ a TENGA Egg Penis Masturbator and a device simply named ‘The Fireman’. They were priced from £5 to £180. The article has not been removed.

UK exam board AQA said 30-year-old Zoe Sugg would be removed from its media studies curriculum after an article headlined The Best Sex Toys to Spice Up Your Life in 2021 appeared on her website

The exam board responded by removing a section on Zoella in its Close Study Products booklet because the recent material was not ‘suitable.’

AQA’s head of curriculum for creative arts, Sandra Allan, said: ‘GCSE Media Studies includes the analysis of online and social media and we added Zoella in 2017.

‘At the time, all her content was appropriate for teaching, but some of Zoella’s recent content is aimed specifically at an adult audience and isn’t suitable for GCSE students.

‘As a result, we’ve removed the section on Zoella from the course, and we’ve contacted our schools and colleges to let them know.’ 

Miss Sugg started her YouTube career in 2009 and has accrued 15million subscribers on the platform and 1.1million followers on Instagram


On January 13, Zoella’s website reviewed a range of vibrators including a ‘Rampant Rabbit G Spot Stroking Vibrator’, a Womanizer Duo Rabbit Vibrator,’ a TENGA Egg Penis Masturbator and a device simply named ‘The Fireman’

A spokesman for Zoella told The Sun: ‘As a woman in her 30s who has been creating content online for over 10 years, Zoe has naturally matured and evolved in that time, as have her audience.’

They added that the article appeared on Zoella’s lifestyle website that covers topics ranging from mental health to sex and fertility which has a demographic of 25 to 34-year-old women.   

The exam boss reassured students who have already studied Zoella that they will not be penalised if they reference her in exams next year.

Zoella has also launched a twin beauty and homeware product range, reported revenues of around £3.8 million per year.

Also an author, Miss Sugg signed a three-book deal with Penguin Books. Her debut novel ‘Girl Online’ broke the record for highest first-week sales of a first-time novelist.  

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