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Children and young people, Democracy

Expressive students talk their way to the top

EXPRESSIVE Lambeth students from St Martin in the Fields High School for Girls in Tulse Hill talked their way to top prize at this year’s school debating competition.

Organised by Lambeth Council, the competition saw six schools in total take part and debate issues including whether the August London riots affected the mutual respect between the Police and young people, and whether education should be free until postgraduate level.

The children, who were in year groups 9 to 11, used the competition as an opportunity to develop their public speaking skills.

Former Lambeth Mayor Cllr Christiana Valcarcel, who opened the competition, congratulated everyone who took part. Cllr Valcarcel said: “Debate and public speaking are central to our democracy and plays a huge part in decision-making here at the council, so we are always delighted to stage this competition and give our young people an opportunity to develop their own skills in this area.”

The competition was judged by Lambeth councillors, and former Lambeth Youth Mayor David Oyedele. Francis Evans, QC of 1 Grays Inn Square closed the debate.

The winners were a very strong team, who impressed the judging panel with their confidence, their style and content and their teamwork. They had researched their topic well and were very passionate about the subject.

The team from St Martin in the Fields High School for Girls in Tulse Hill won a cheque for £200 and a trophy for their school, plus £40 in book vouchers each. They also won a week of work experience to be divided between the barristers’ chambers at 1 Grays Inn Square and Lambeth Council’s legal services team, which organised the competition.

The runners-up were a group from Stockwell Park Academy in Stockwell, who won a cheque for £150 for their school plus £20 in book vouchers each and an opportunity to shadow the new Youth Mayor.

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