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07 December 2018
“Eloquent” and “confident” were how two winning Oakgrove students were described when they won the 2018 MK Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition, which was held in the impressive and historic Grand Committee Room at the House of Commons.
After successfully progressing through the first two rounds, defeating nine other educational establishments, Sixth Form students Jasmine Nazir and Ayesha Khan travelled to Westminster to take part in the final, competing against Shenley Brook End School.
In a closely fought debate the teams examined whether ‘political correctness prevented free speech’ and, after articulate and passionate arguments on both sides, Oakgrove were declared the winners and were presented with a trophy by local MP, Iain Stewart.
The competition, now in its eighth year, was judged by business professionals from Buckinghamshire and coincided with a very busy day in parliament. Students had the opportunity to tour the House, sit in on a Brexit debate and participate in a Q & A session with MP Iain Stewart.
Accompanying the students, Head of Year 12, Mr Kendall, said:
‘We are incredibly proud of the students’ performance. They spent many hours preparing, practising and refining their speeches, so it was a delight to see them argue their positions so skilfully and passionately on the night. If this debate is anything to go by, these two students have very bright futures ahead of them, whether in politics or in whatever career path they choose.”
Organised by MK MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart, the annual competition is open to students in Years 10-13 and aims to engage young people in politics and develop their confidence and communication skills.