14 October 2014
Pupils from local schools put their debating skills to the test for this year's Canterbury Youth Parliament event.
Eight local schools took part to enjoy a great day spent debating contemporary political issues from waste disposal and recycling to fracking and the nuclear deterrent.
The day began with inspiring speeches from Canterbury Christ Church University’s education guru, Ralph Leighton, former Kent County Councillor, Roy Bullock MBE, the former spin doctor of Paddy Ashdown, Jo Phillips, and philosopher Charles Devenelles from the University of Kent. Students came together to reflect on the speeches and prepare to present their case.
The jugding panel. From left to right: Ralph Leighton, Nick Hayes, Roy Bullock and Martin Vye
Schools were organised into small groups, local grammar schools; Simon Langton Girls, Simon Langton Boys and Queen Elizabeth joined up with Archbishops, Spires and Chaucer Technology School. St Anselms and St Edmunds paired up to complete the eight competing schools and the teams went head-to-head as they role played being the policy makers in key government areas.
The day was organised by Simon Langton Girls School and Canterbury Christ Church University’s Outreach Team and hosted in the award-winning Augustine House Library.
Jayme Stevens, Manager of the Outreach Team at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We were delighted to be able to host this event and from an outreach point of view, it is important that students from our partner schools can work alongside and go toe-to-toe with students from grammar and public schools in a university setting. This will help them to see that anyone with the academic ability can aspire to study at University.”
The winning team of the day. From left to right: Vickielee Barber, Ben Kidd (both Archbishops), Robert Pieters and Michael Booth (both Simon Langton Boys School)
Assistant Head Teacher of Simon Langton Girls, Nick Hayes, said: “It was great to see students really enjoying working together with different schools. I really hope the schools work together in the future as we found it a tremendous success.
“There is so much to be gained from students debating political issues. No-one could claim that there is apathy amongst the youth of today.
“With over 80 students involved from 8 different schools this will hopefully become an annual event.”
The day concluded with Archbishops and Simon Langton Boys being crowned overall winners and local Councillor Martin Vye launching the planning for the next International Youth Parliament.
Vickielee Barber, Year 12 student at Archbishops, was on the winning team. She said: “The day really was so much fun. It was an optional day which helped those who were interested to get their teeth stuck into debating. I feel a lot more confident after today and am so happy we won!”
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
- We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.
*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey