Malcolm Arnold Academy student collects prestigious current affairs award at Buckingham Palace

Ryan Wickes collects current affairs award from The Economist, while Malcolm Arnold Academy achieves ‘Thought Leader’ status.

A student from Malcolm Arnold Academy, part of the David Ross Education Trust, was rewarded for his outstanding writing and debating skills at a national award ceremony held at Buckingham Palace.

Ryan Wickes was one of ten students in the UK to receive the prestigious Outstanding Contribution Award for his work with the Burnet News Club, a school news club run by The Economist Educational Foundation.   A thrilled Ryan received his award from The Economist’s Deputy Editor.

Following on from Ryan’s incredible success at the Burnet News Club Awards, Northampton’s Malcolm Arnold Academy has also been rated by the Burnet News Club as a ‘Thought Leader’ for the quality of its students’ perspectives on climate change.

The Burnet News Club, which has 15 academies from the David Ross Education Trust taking part, encourages students to discuss topical issues and develop their skills of negotiation, logic, storytelling, sceptism and curiosity. Students across the UK write articles and share points of view on wide-ranging global and national current affairs subjects.

The Year 8 student said: “I am thrilled to receive this award. I have really enjoyed participating in debates and discussions and it has provided a platform for me to share my thoughts and arguments on key current affairs issues. Being part the Burnet News Club really gets you thinking about your point of view in the context of what’s happening in the world around you.

“I am looking forward to taking part again next year along with the rest of my peers at Malcolm Arnold Academy.”

Students from Malcolm Arnold Academy and Charles Read Academy in Lincolnshire particularly impressed the judges, as both schools were also nominated for the overall Outstanding Contribution Award.

Chris Steed, Principal at Malcolm Arnold Academy, said: “It was a real honour for Ryan and our school to be recognised for our contribution to this national initiative, and we are incredibly proud of everyone involved in this fantastic achievement.

“Our students love being part of the Burnet News Club and it’s a great way for us to collaborate with other academies across the UK as well as within the David Ross Education Trust.”


Working alongside the Economist Educational Foundation is one of the many incredible initiatives that contribute to academic excellence and student enrichment across the David Ross Education Trust. Students are encouraged to further develop their skills and discover their talents through a host of inspiring and motivational learning experiences, provided by the Trust’s pioneering enrichment programme.

A wide range of inspirational partnerships and scholarship schemes also help students to benefit from the opportunities that are available to them, raising their aspirations and increasing the life chances of young people.

Richard Williams, Director of Academic Studies at the David Ross Education Trust, said: “Raising aspirations, inspiring interests and enabling young people to see the opportunities the world has to offer are at the core of everything we do at the Trust.

“Our involvement with these inspiring experiences helps students to become well-rounded and engaged citizens by developing their confidence and self-esteem, as well as encouraging them to fulfil their academic and creative potential.”