THE ANNUAL schools debating competition held by MP Sajid Javid has been won by South Bromsgrove High.
Students Olly Kay and Henry Spooner were victorious after some fierce contests throughout a very entertaining evening.
They narrowly beat fellow finalists and tough opponents Niall Hegarty and Emily Kinder from Bromsgrove School.
The last two had to debate the motion ‘Newspapers are a thing of the past’ with South propositioning and Bromsgrove School opposing.
This is now the third year in a row that South Bromsgrove High has won the trophy and the winning pair will get to go down to Westminster to watch Prime Minister’s Questions. The school will also host the 2016 contest.
In the first round. South were pitched against Haybridge High on the subject of ‘This house would lower the voting age to 16 years old’. South were propositioning and Haybridge were opposing.
Other contests saw Bromsgrove School putting forward the motion ‘This house would end foreign aid’ with Waseley Hills High School opposing.
And Hagley RC High School were up against a reserve South Bromsgrove High team after North had to pull out at short notice because of illness to one of their team. That motion was ‘This house believes the world is too late to stop climate change’.
The two teams with the highest scores made it through to the final.
On the judging panel was Mr Javid, who is also the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Michael Collie from BBC Midlands Today, Standard editor Tristan Harris and former councillor Jill Dyer MBE.
Olly from South said: “I’m overwhelmed that we won.
“Debating is a key skill, especially if you are tasked with arguing against issues you don’t agree with.”
Henry added: “I could not believe we won – Bromsgrove School debated really well in the final.
“The competition highlights the points made in our first proposal – about 16-year-olds being given the vote.
“Many young people do take an interest in politics and debating.”
Emily from Bromsgrove School said both the high level of debating and the opportunity it gave everyone taking part was wonderful.
Her debating partner Niall added: “It is definitely one of the most enjoyable events I have been involved in.
“It’s a great experience and a fantastic way to bring the Bromsgrove schools community together.
“It’s an investiture in young people.”
Mr Javid said the competition provided students from across Bromsgrove with a great opportunity to develop their public speaking skills.
“The level of debating was very high and all the teams acquitted themselves well.
“Congratulations to Henry and Oliver from South Bromsgrove High School on a fantastic win.
“We will be back at South Bromsgrove again next year.”
The victory capped a great day of democracy for South Bromsgrove High School which had earlier staged a hustings event.