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Orli’s plans for Britain impress David Cameron

    Orli Vogt-Vincent
    Orli Vogt-Vincent

    A Jewish schoolgirl has won a national writing competition to which Prime Minister David Cameron responded.

    “Thirteen in 13”, launched by the Anne Frank Trust UK, asked anyone turning 13 in 2013 to say how they would make Britain a better place in an online letter to the prime minister.

    Orli Vogt-Vincent, who attends JCoss in north London, came first out of over 1,300 entries. “I didn’t actually believe it at first,” she said. “My mum sent me a text saying: ‘You’re going to Downing Street!’

    In her letter, Orli urged Mr Cameron to allow creativity to flourish in Britain’s schools by ending the obsession with tests and targets. “I can’t enjoy a subject any more without the fear that I’m not going to achieve my target,” she wrote. “School isn’t just about grades — it’s about independence and exploration.”

    The Prime Minister wrote a joint response to the 13 finalists tellling them their letters were “all very well argued, bursting at the seams with passion and original thinking.” Though Orli did not get the chance to meet Mr Cameron, as he was called to another event, she said her trip to No 10 last Thursday “was the most exciting day of my whole life.”

    Gillian Walnes, executive director of the trust, said: “It is 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 contest reflected the fact that Anne Frank received her diary as a present on her 13th birthday. A panel, including Anne Frank’s step-sister Eva Schloss, selected the winner.

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