Press Release: 18 June, 2007

Youth Parliament Winners to receive awards in Holyrood

Attention Picture Desks/ News Editors

Photo/ Broadcast Opportunity

Time: 12.30pm

Date: Thursday 21 June 2007

Location: The Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber

On Thursday 21 June, Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson and First Minister Alex Salmond will be hosting a high-profile reception at Holyrood for students from around Scotland as a reward for winning awards in this year’s National Youth Parliament Competition, organised by the Citizenship Foundation and sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

As part of the annual competition, teams of 12–18 year olds recreate the Scottish parliamentary Debating Chamber in their school, youth group or a local council chamber. Taking the roles of Executive, Opposition and 'backbench' MSPs, they make a 20-minute video of their debate on a mock Bill about a devolved issue.

The winners’ awards ceremony will start at 12:30pm in the Chamber, directly after First Minister’s Question Time and will be followed by a reception in Holyrood.

The four schools attending will be Belmont Academy in Ayrshire, Morrison’s Academy in Perthshire, Marr College in South Ayrshire and Montrose Academy in Angus.

Awards:

Individual awards (by the First Minister)

• Best Minister – Donald Pritchard (Marr College)

• Joint Best Opposition Spokesperson - John Thompson (Montrose Academy)

• Joint Best Opposition Spokesperson – Alexander Bradley (Belmont Academy)

• Joint Best Backbench MSP – Chloe McKechnie (Belmont Academy)

• Joint Best Backbench MSP – Michael Haggart (Morrison’s Academy)

• Best Presiding Officer – Joanna Wilson (Belmont Academy)

Presiding Officer presents

• Special Awards, awarded by MSPs for individual performances that fell outside the judging criteria:

1) Marianne Inglis (Morrison’s Academy) for a Strong Performance as Presiding Officer

2) Chris Smith (Montrose Academy) for a Well Constructed Speech

3) Paula Murray (Montrose Academy) for Awareness of the Importance of Constituents

4) Lindsay MacDonald (Morrison’s Academy) for Taking Interventions

5) Alex Johnston (Morrison’s) for Good Debating Style and Delivery

Team awards (by the Presiding Officer)

• Morrison’s Academy – National Runners-up

• Belmont Academy – National Winners

Notes for editors:

1. 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, it focuses on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. Its work includes resources, training, active learning programmes, community projects and research. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

2.The National Youth Parliament Competition Hollyrood Model is in its fourth successful year.

More information can be found at www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/nypc

3. The Ministry of Justice is sponsoring the National Youth Parliament competition to provide young people with the opportunity to participate in parliamentary processes and engage with government in a unique way. Young people have an important stake in our democracy. And it is vital that they have the skills, confidence capability to participate as active citizens.

4: Access Arrangements

Media including press photographers and TV cameras are welcome to attend the award presentation on the floor of Holyrood’s Chamber. Media without Scottish Parliament media accreditation should contact the Scottish Parliament Media Relations Office to organise a day pass (0131 348 6852) by 11am on Thursday 21 June. Media should report to the Public Entrance at 12.20pm.

If photographers are unable to attend, photographs will be available from the Scottish Parliament’s Media Relations Office on 0131 348 6269 or by contacting andrew.cowan@scottish.parliament.uk after 3.00pm on Thursday 21 June.