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20 June, 2005

Scotland's young people will shape the future of this country, says First Minister

First Minister, Jack McConnell and Presiding Officer, George Reid presented awards to the young winners in the second year of the Holyrood model of the National Youth Parliament Competition. Pupils from Angus, Ayr and Perthshire attended a prize-giving ceremony in the Scottish Parliament Chamber yesterday, June 16th.

Holyrood competition winners 2005.
Winners of National Youth Parliament Competition Holyrood 2004-05
Organised by the Citizenship Foundation and sponsored by Norwich Union, the National Youth Parliament Competition helps bring to life the process of politics and government by offering young people the opportunity to set up and video their own parliamentary session. With over a decade-long track record of involving Scottish schools in the Westminster model, teams in Scotland were this year offered the chance to recreate the Scottish Parliament instead of the House of Commons.

Jack McConnell said, “Yesterday's award winners show what can be achieved when you set your sights high, when you have ambition and the determination to succeed. Scotland's young people will shape the future of this country, and I congratulate all the winners and wish them well."

George Reid said, “This is an excellent opportunity for Scottish students to study their own Parliament. I hope that the National Youth Parliament Competition will continue to grow so that more young people can learn to participate and take responsibility in the political arena.”

Deputy Minister for Education and Young People Euan Robson said, “The National Youth Parliament Competition is a great way for youngsters to learn about politics and get hands on experience.

“With Scotland hosting both the G8 and the World Youth Congress this summer, I am sure that even more youngsters will be inspired to take an interest in politics and consider how they can make a difference – both locally and globally.”

Chosen by a panel of MSPs, Montrose Academy, Angus was named the overall winner and also picked up individual awards for three of its pupils in the roles of Best Backbench MSP, Best Opposition Spokesperson (Question Time) and Best First Minister. Belmont Academy, Ayr won Best Question Time, as well as awards for Best Opposition Spokesperson in the debate and Best Presiding Officer, with Morrison’s Academy, Perthshire receiving the prize for Best Minister.

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Notes for editors:

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no. 801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, we focus particularly on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

Our work includes:

• A comprehensive range of citizenship resources for a wide audience from teachers to young offenders.

• Nationwide and international training programmes.

• National active learning projects for secondary schools.

• Community projects to develop citizenship education as a collective responsibility.

• Research to advance our understanding of best practice in citizenship education.

2. Sponsorship of the National Youth Parliament Competition is part of Norwich

Union’s responsible citizenship programme, which seeks to encourage individuals, business and Government not only to explore their rights but to take responsibility for their actions (www.aviva.com).

3. The National Youth Parliament Competition is open to teams of 11-18 year olds

across the UK, whether as a school or youth group entry, or independently. The Holyrood model of the Competition was launched by George Reid MSP at the Scottish Parliament in October 2003. Scottish teams may choose to enter either the Holyrood or Westminster model (or both).

4. The National Youth Parliament Competition supports the Scottish Framework of

Education for Citizenship and National Priority 4 (Values and Citizenship).

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