WASELEY Hills High School has won its first ever Bromsgrove Schools Debating Competition.
The team of Megan Clarke, 17, and Leah Young, 16, triumphed in the contest, run by MP Sajid Javid, after a fantastic night of debating at North Bromsgrove High School – the home of last year’s winners
In the first round the pair argued that ‘The House believes voting should be compulsory’, while Hagley RC School argued against.
Also in the first round, the other finalists Haybridge High proposed the motion that the House would ban beauty contests with South Bromsgrove High School opposing.
And North Bromsgrove High School argued The House believes traditional Morris dancers should no longer blacken their faces. Unfortunately Bromsgrove School had to pull out of the contest because of illness so instead, North were opposed by questions from the judging panel and audience.
The last motion ‘The House believes social networking is making us anti-social’, provided one of the most closely contested and entertaining finals with both teams conveying many thought-provoking points.
It gave the judges – Mr Javid, Standard editor Tristan Harris, Rev Ray Khan from St John’s Church and parish councillor Janet King – a tough decision to make.
In the end Waseley edged out Emily Dennis, 16, and Abigail Wareham, 17, who represented Haybridge High.
Megan told The Standard the pair from Waseley did not think they would win because of the high standard of competition.
“It was nerve-wracking but really good – after the first speech we got into it a bit more and I felt more comfortable as the evening went on.”
Leah added: “I was scared at first but I really enjoyed it.
“It was a great opportunity and I definitely want to do more debating.”
Waseley headteacher Alan Roll said: “We are delighted – we have been finalists twice before so it is nice to finally win.”
And he was full of praise for his team.
“I’m so proud of them – they were unflappable.
“They enjoyed researching the subjects and they enjoyed debating them – they’re great students all round.”
The runners-up were also full of praise for the contest and the competition.
Emily said: “I’ve never been so terrified but I’m glad we did it.
“We have debated before but the standard was not as high as this.”
Abigail added: “It was a wonderful experience – I definitely want to do more debating in the future.
“It was also great meeting all the different people.”
The winners received the debating cup and will also get to go to Westminster to watch Prime Minister’s Question Time and have lunch with Mr Javid.
Mr Javid said: “This is the seventh year we have run the debating competition and over the years it has got stronger and stronger.
“Waseley definitely deserved to win and I look forward to welcoming Megan and Leah to Parliament.”