Three state school pupils from Barnet have landed places on a course for aspiring journalists.

Lilyana Drumchiyska, 18, from Bishop Douglass School, in Hamilton Road, East Finchey, Sophie Etem, 17, from Woodhouse College, in  Woodhouse Road, Woodside Park, and Florianne Humphrey, 17, from St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School, in Nether Street, North Finchley, landed places on the Young Journalists’ Academy (YJA) summer school.

Nearly 200 people applied for the 27 places on the course which will take places from Saturday, August 18 until Saturday, August 25.

During a week of workshops in Canary Wharf, the students will tour newsrooms and be trained in everything from writing opinion pieces, to science reporting.

They will be encouraged to blog about their experiences during the week and the two best bloggers will be rewarded with work placements at The Times.

Ms Etem said: ‘I’m really happy to have made it through the YJA application process, as it’s such a great opportunity.

"I’ve been thinking about being a journalist for a career in future, and this will help me decide whether it’s something I want to do.

"I’m looking forward to meeting lots of important journalists – and having some fun too! 

"At the moment I’m interested in celebrity journalism, but also news reporting more broadly. And crime stories, too."

Aimed at 16 to 18-year-old London state-school pupils, the YJA summer school teaches teens the nuts and bolts of journalism.

It was set up in 2006 in response to research from the Sutton Trust that showed that there is a great class imbalance in the UK media industry.

YJA co-ordinator, Nathalie Rothschild, said: “The YJA challenges the idea that you need to have the ‘right’ education or be lucky enough to have personal connections in order to become a journalist.

“Our students learn that with enough ambition and drive they can reach their goals – but they also have to be prepared to put in some hard work.

“The Young Journalists’ Academy hopes to inspire a new generation of reporters to learn the value of freedom of expression, truth-seeking and good grammar.”