A team of students from Birkenhead Sixth Form College has come away victorious from the regional heats of the continent’s leading political debating competition.
The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that runs throughout Europe and provides a forum for young people from all different backgrounds to develop and express their opinions on wide-ranging topics.
Competing against other teams from independent schools, grammar schools and fellow sixth form colleges, Birkenhead Sixth Form College’s teams of debaters came out on top after a two-day event, beginning at Merchant Taylors’ school in Crosby and culminating in a final general assembly at Liverpool Town Hall, claiming the victory alongside West Kirby Grammar School.
The team of nine students – Aaron Ford, Josh Latham, Rachael Carroll, Reece Hoyle, Lewis Fitzgerald, Nathon Cowley, Naomi Logan, Seana Quatermass and Isaac McGeough – will now head to the national final, also held in Liverpool, in a competition that involves over 30,000 young people across Europe.
In a first for the European Youth Parliament regional event, the activities included a committee day event prior to the general assembly.
The college’s students were allocated committees to work alongside students from all of the other schools to draw up resolutions on issues ranging from trans rights and gender equality to cryptocurrency.
Leading the team was politics teacher at the college, Jane Cavanagh, who said, “The level of debate from the students was astounding.
“We are always confident in the maturity and thoughtfulness of all of our students, but this event once again proved it in spades. To conduct themselves in such a calm, measured and considerate way, whilst also making sure that their opinions were heard was an absolute credit to them.”
Jane continued, “I’m extremely proud of their win at this stage but more so of the manner in which they went about it. They had all put the time into researching the topics and brought sensible and informed opinions to the table about extremely important topics.
“Public speaking can be daunting to anyone, but they delivered well spoken and well researched speeches in front of their peers from a range of backgrounds and managed to come out on top. I know that they had an enjoyable experience and hope that they do once again in the final.”