Block 5 student scoops essay writing prize

Congratulations to Block 5 (Year 11) student Amos Wollen, who emerged as the winner of the School Student Prize in the Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize last month.

The Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize is an annual essay competition run by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and sponsored by British businessman and author Richard Koch.

Tasked with giving “the best and boldest answer” to the question “What single policy would give everyone in society, whatever their background, a real opportunity to succeed on their own merit?” Amos initially wrote a 1000-word proposal, which was one of just 11 shortlisted for the first prize from over 300 entries spanning 35 countries.

As a finalist, Amos went on to write a 3000-word essay and a 700-word media article about his policy proposal, which had to be both politically possible and compatible with a free market society.

Amos suggested a radical simplification to the tax system, proposing a combination of negative income tax for low earners, with a basic flat tax. He named his proposal “The Rhys-Williams Flat Tax”, after Juliet Rhys-Williams, the Liberal-turned-Conservative politician who proposed a system of negative income tax in the 1940s.

Awards were presented at a ceremony in London last month by IEA judges and Richard Koch. The guest speaker was Sir Robbie Gibb, Director of Communications at 10 Downing Street under Theresa May and former head of BBC Westminster.

After completing his GCSEs/BACs, Amos plans to study Philosophy, Religion & Ethics (PRE), Government & Politics and Economics at A Level.