Jewish schoolgirl wins writing competition judged by David Cameron
Orli Vogt-Vincent (centre) with runners-up outside Downing Street
A Jewish schoolgirl has won a national writing competition judged by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The “Thirteen in 13” competition, launched by the Anne Frank Trust UK, asked anyone turning 13 in 2013 to say how they would make Britain a better place in a 250-word online letter to the prime minister. The winner was announced in the Times newspaper on Friday.
Orli Vogt-Vincent, who attends JCoss in north London, was awarded first place out of over 1,300 submitted entries.
In her letter, she urged Mr Cameron to allow creativity to flourish in Britain's schools by ending the obsession with tests and targets.
She wrote: “I can’t enjoy a subject anymore without the fear that I’m not going to achieve my target, that I’m not on track, that I’m not prepared for the countless assessments we’re bombarded with every month.
“What about creativity and finding an identity? We have to try and find ourselves through numbers that sum up how clever we are. What about expressing ourselves?
“I’m not saying abolish tests – our progress obviously needs to be checked, but school isn't just about grades – it’s about independence and exploration.”
A panel, including Anne Frank’s step-sister Eva Schloss, helped select the top 13 letters before Mr Cameron chose the winner.
Gillian Walnes, co-founder and executive director of the trust, said she was “delighted” with the winner.
“Britain’s thirteen year olds wrote about a very wide range of topics that are concerning them. We were amazed at how seriously they took issues about inequality, poverty and health.
"It is also gratifying to see how seriously the Prime Minister has taken the concerns of Britain’s newest teenagers and I hope that, like Anne Frank’s 70 years before, their voices can make change.”
The trust launched the contest to reflect the fact that Anne Frank received her diary as a present on her 13th birthday.