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The John Locke Institute aims to encourage young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis and persuasive style.

Its essay competition invites students to explore challenging questions beyond the confines of the school curriculum and is judged by senior academics from the University of Oxford.

This year Trinity School sixth former Ghalib Butt was shortlisted for his Economics essay, in which he addressed the question: “What are the most important economic effects – good and bad – of forced redistribution? How should this inform government policy?”

In his essay, he writes: “Governments across the globe must harness redistribution and use it as a means of tackling society’s most pressing issues. Through allocating resources in the most socially efficient ways, which maximise the benefit for society, forced redistribution can become less so a topic of the ‘rich giving to the poor’ and instead a system which creates increased equality.”

Ferdinand Doepel, Head of Economics at Trinity School, said: “It is great to see that the initiative Ghalib showed by participating in the competition was rewarded. His essay was a compelling read and neatly combined a broad range of arguments. The topic of redistribution that he had chosen is also likely to become more pertinent in the future as a result of the global pandemic. Well done!”

“I entered the competition wanting to apply the knowledge of economics that I had developed over the academic year as it is a subject I would like to study at university,” explains Ghalib, who is studying Mathematics, Economics and English, and wants to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. “Writing the essay was a rewarding process, allowing me to express my personal opinions on taxation and how government policy should be informed.”

There were almost three thousand entries, from eighty different countries, assessed by a panel of thirty-five examiners, from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and Chicago. The winner will be announced in October.

We wish the best of luck to Ghalib!

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