The Jordans Solicitors Wakefield Schools and Sixth Form Debating Competition came to a hard fought conclusion on 4th March 2014 with Harry Wilby and Alexander Woolhouse of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School team one announced as the overall winners and Sandra Martinkova and Jake Sowter of Ackworth School as the runners-up.

Partner at Jordans Debbie Mactaggart with Harry Wilby and Alexander Woolhouse of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School team one

Held at our King Street office and commencing at 5pm the motions debated were ‘This house believes the public can not expect the government to anticipate and respond to all extreme weather events and conditions’ and ‘This house supports the proposed smoking ban in cars carrying children’. The final was based on a points system and only 16 points separated first and fourth place.

The competition is open to sixth formers from schools and colleges in the Wakefield area and participating this year were; Ackworth School, Ossett Sixth Form Academy, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Silcoates School, Wakefield College and Wakefield Girls High School.

Each participant from the three schools and sixth forms competing at the final received a certificate and Waterstones book token while the winning school received a trophy which has their name engraved on a shield and can be displayed at the school until the 4th annual Jordans Solicitors Wakefield Schools and Sixth Form Debating Competition.

The competition is based on the English Speaking Union’s (ESU) Schools Mace competition and Jordans have been supported by the ESU since the competitions inception. This year’s competition was judged by North East Regional Development Officer Kevin Rowswell, who we are also looking forward to working with in the future to develop the debating culture amongst young people in Wakefield and the surrounding districts.

Judge Kevin Rowswell said, “It is excellent that standards for public debate established in The Schools Mace have been used as the basis for this locally sponsored competition. We hope that teams participating in competitions such as this will eventually be able to integrate with our National Competition and so progress to ESU Regional and National competitions.”

Cathy Cook, Head of Company and Commercial at Jordans Solicitors, and who chaired the competition commented: “Debating is an amazing way to encourage life skills in analysis and public speaking while engaging young people in contemporary social and political issues. The competitions are hard fought and entertaining to watch as the standard is always very high among all the participants. Jordans takes pride in investing in the local community through hosting events which bring different schools together.”

We would like to thank the ESU, members of the public who attended, teachers and especially all the pupils who participated. For more information please contact Cathy Cook at the Wakefield office on 01924 387110.

The winning team with their teacher Natalie Allen

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