Shropshire students debate their way to success

Students from five Shropshire schools have been discovering it’s good to talk by taking part in a successful debating competition now in its fourth year.

Mollie Holm and Grace Laing of Meole Brace School with the Mayor, Councillor Peter Nutting, and Holly Edwards of Lanyon Bowdler
Mollie Holm and Grace Laing of Meole Brace School with the Mayor, Councillor Peter Nutting, and Holly Edwards of Lanyon Bowdler

Debate-Ed is sponsored by law firm Lanyon Bowdler and led by one of their solicitors, Holly Edwards. The aim of the competition is to promote debating in Shropshire.

It was held at Shrewsbury College and featured more than 30 students in total from Meole Brace School, Wrekin College, Priory School, Concord College and Prestfelde School.

“This was the fourth Debate-Ed competition and it turned out to be another major success.I am delighted with the way this idea has taken off and the response we regularly receive,” said Holly.

“The students debated a variety of topics including the portrayal of female role models in the media and whether voters should first have to pass a general knowledge test before they could vote.

“Teams from Meole Brace School, Wrekin College, the Priory School and Concord College made the final with Mollie Holm and Grace Laing of Meole Brace School winning the trophy.

“Student feedback following the competition was very positive, with all students saying they enjoyed the day and would be interested in further debating events. One said they found the day very educational and fun.

“Teachers in attendance were also very positive with one saying the topics engaged students and the style of the debate allowed  the students to express themselves and increase their confidence.

“The event was well supported by members of numerous local organisations including Lanyon Bowdler, Shropshire Disability Network, the Movement Centre, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shrewsbury Libraries, Comics Salopia and Shropshire Council, who all supplied guest judges for the day.

“As well as the annual competition, Debate-Ed has also provided lively and engaging workshops at the Priory school and Prestfelde school throughout the academic year. These workshops were led by students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group.” Kay Kelly, Partner at Lanyon Bowdler, said: “Debating is an excellent way of encouraging students to speak publicly – something many people find difficult. Lanyon Bowdler are extremely proud to support the Debate-Ed programme and are delighted that so many schools and students are reaping the benefits from it.”

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