Burnet News Club

Recent events have reminded us that understanding the news is an essential skill for young people.

Equip them with the skills they need to make sense of the world.

Join the Burnet News Club to receive everything you need to embed the news in your curriculum: a fully resourced scheme of work every half term, training and ongoing support.

The entire programme is also available online through our online Hub.

Free poster when you enquire!

Arrange a call with us and receive a free “News in Twos” poster.

"I was worried about other teachers thinking ‘yet another thing’ when we don’t have enough time to teach everything else, and I’m already doing an after-school club, and we’re a small school and it couldn’t work as an after school club due to funding. However, everyone made space for it in their curriculum time, we’ve given one of the English sessions over to it a week because it hit targets of speaking, listening, engagement, and oracy."


Help students make sense of a complex world

A study by Action for Children found 9 out of 10 children worry about adult issues.1 The Burnet News Club helps you hold discussions that challenge scary misconceptions and reduce anxiety about the news. 

Help your students think critically in an age of fake news and form opinions based on sound evidence.

We named the programme after Sir Alastair Burnet, who was driven by making the news accessible to everyone.

The skills and knowledge that make up our news literacy model also impact a young person’s success in education, employment and democratic engagement.


News-literacy skills are identified by employers as essential to succeeding in the workplace.

  • Essential skills are required by “almost everyone [...] to do almost any job. They are the skills that make specific knowledge [...] fully productive”1
  • Skills which cannot be automated, such as the news literacy skills, support a long and prosperous life in the future2
  • Employers consistently call for these skills across all educational and experience levels3
  • 74% of teachers say employability skills are now the most important way to improve pupils’ career prospects4


A focus on communication skills and discussion supports academic success in school and beyond.

  • Introducing Interventions that target communication skills can lead to students making approximately five months additional progress throughout the year5
  • High-quality conversations in primary school can significantly improve SAT scores, reading comprehension and writing and reasoning skills6


Giving young people accessible, relevant information about societal issues and space to practise discussing them supports democratic engagement.

  • Building young people’s access to relevant political and societal information builds confidence in political engagement. Only 37% of young people currently feel the issues are relevant to them7
  • The Fake News and Critical Literacy report recommended regular exposure to, and discussion of, the news to help foster trust in journalism and democracy8

Proven impact in schools

The club is underpinned by a rigorous approach to building essential skills and knowledge of the news.

Our news literacy model sets out four essential critical-thinking and communication skills: speaking, listening, problem-solving and creativity. These skills form part of the Skills Builder Universal Framework.

Benefits of the Club

The Burnet News Club enhances all aspects of the classroom

Build students’ confidence

The Burnet News Club helps young people find their voice. Activities turn thinking into physical games, adapted to comply with social distancing guidance. Debating activities raise the stakes slowly to help students express themselves.

More progress for them, less work for you

Inspire their Monday whilst keeping your Sunday. Experienced teachers on our team design all Burnet News Club resources - it’s no surprise that 96% of club teachers rate them as excellent!

  • Most primary schools embed it within their PSHE/literacy curriculum
  • Most secondary schools value it as part of their extra-curricular timetable
  • Receive everything you require to give them the skills they need

Adapt your curriculum to reflect today’s world

Broaden your curriculum

The Burnet News Club brings important news stories to your classrooms: from the coronavirus pandemic to the protests in Hong Kong. 

Depth across your curriculum

Current affairs help you draw cross-curricular links: including location knowledge, historical narrative, statistics and citizenship.

Widen their perspectives 

Each set of resources exposing learners to a range of opinions about contestable questions.

We champion the impact that world-leading experts can bring to students’ understanding. Last year, students engaged with 32 experts, including Stephen Fry, Chris Hadfield and Gillian Burke.

Flexible for home-learning

A unique online discussion platform where students connect with peers from across the UK.

Our online Hub empowers students to:

  • Publish their opinions on the moderated discussion board
  • Enter weekly competitions and take quizzes
  • Ask questions of world-leading experts

One school per half term is named "Thought Leader" for their contributions on the Hub. Students can win stars for their school and see their work published in a special magazine each half term and these are compiled to make our Annual. Download it below!

Free poster when you enquire

The Burnet News Club is open to all UK state schools. Arrange a call with us about starting it at your school, and receive your free "News in Twos" poster!

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