25th February 2013

The second round of the North Somerset Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition 2013 took place last Friday. Discussing the motion ‘this House believes that nuclear energy is a gamble too far’, the 7 teams from schools across the county put forward the arguments of the Government and the Opposition.

The North Somerset Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition was established in 1993 by Dr. Liam Fox MP to promote public speaking and debating in older school students using the form of a Westminster parliamentary style debate. As Dr. Fox was unable to attend on this occasion, another Fox, namely me, was asked to step in and act as Speaker during the event.

Following a spirited debate by all sides, the articulate and measured approach of the Year 12 team from Chew Valley saw them being announced as winners by the 3 judges. The runners up, the Year 12 team from Churchill, also gave an exemplary performance.

It was wonderful to see such talent from these school pupils. Competitions like this are an excellent way to get young people involved in debate and interested in politics. I was very impressed to see such a high standard, particularly given the complex nature of the subject being debated.

Special mention should go to the Year 11 team from Gordano, the youngest entrants to this year’s competition, whose determination and willingness to intervene really shone through. All teams had clearly researched their topic thoroughly.
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