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Former pupil Matt Thorne has been named as the RES Young Economist of the Year 2017 with his essay A recent UK tribunal case has found that Uber drivers are not self-employed and so should be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. Is this to the advantage of actual and potential drivers or not?

Matt joined King’s College in the Third Form (Year 9) on a football scholarship from a local comprehensive school – Maiden Beech Academy – in Crewkerne. Having first being put into a lower set, his talents were quickly realised by staff and he was soon awarded an academic scholarship. Through the support and nurturing he received throughout his years at King’s, Matt went from strength to strength. He joined the economics department to study A levels in 2015 and was determined to excel and achieve a place at Cambridge to read economics.

Ahead of entering the RES competition, Matt entered and won a school essay competition, as a dry run for the national prize. Last year, Matt also won another prestigious essay competition: The Vellacott History Prize run by Peterhouse Cambridge with his essay Why was Child Labour a Problem for Nineteenth-Century Societies? He also won school house debating competitions and, alongside fellow Oxbridge student Will Cashmore, took the regional title of the English Speaking Union (ESU) – the UK’s largest debating competition.

The Royal Economic Society’s national essay prize attracts thousands of entries each year – we are hugely proud of Matt’s achievement. Commenting on Matt’s achievement, Headmaster Richard Biggs said: “Matt Thorne is a great King’s College success story. He has just taken up his place at Cambridge and we will follow his progress over the coming years with interest and much pride.”