Press Release: 19 June, 2008

School debate winners receive awards at Holyrood

National Team Winners:

Belmont Academy, Ayr - strengthening school security.

Joint Team Runners-Up:

Ellon Academy, Aberdeenshire - free school meals in Scotland.

Montrose Academy, Angus - motivating young people into work and education.

On Thursday 19th June, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alex Fergusson MSP, will host a high-profile reception at Holyrood for pupils from Belmont Academy, Montrose Academy and Ellon Academy to celebrate winning this year's Holyrood National Youth Parliament Competition. The Ministry of Justice sponsors National Youth Parliament Competition and the Awards Ceremony is sponsored by the office of Scotland's first Commissioner for Children and Young People, Kathleen Marshall.

Congratulating the winning teams, Tony Breslin, Chief Executive at the Citizenship Foundation says:

"These students have captured the concerns of young people all over Scotland - and the UK - about the future and their role in shaping it. They have debated key issues, with rigour and passion, that affect us all."

SCCYP logoMinistry of Justice logo

The judging panel of three cross-bench MSPs also decided on:

Individual Awards

  • Best opening speaker
    John Thompson (Montrose Academy)
    For an articulate and confidently given speech, delivered with passion.
  • Best Opposition Speaker
    Sam Stewart (Ellon Academy)
    For a confident and well delivered speech featuring good research.
  • Best Closing Speaker
    Alix Morieux (Belmont Academy)
    For a well researched and reactive speech summing up the debate.
  • Best Backbench MSP
    Rebecca Cox (Ellon Academy)
    For an excellent speech with good arguments that considered her role as a Green Party MSP
  • Best Presiding Officer
    Jacob Whittle (Belmont Academy)
    For an extremely realistic and confident performance.

Special Awards

Awarded by MSPs for individual performances that fell outside judging criteria:

  • David Evans (Ellon Academy) for a brilliant opening speech.
  • Jake Milne (Montrose Academy) for a strong performance as Presiding Officer.
  • Ross Adam (Belmont Academy) for a strong opening speech, riling the crowd and a well dealt with intervention.

The winners' awards ceremony will start at 12:30pm in Committee Room 1, after First Minister's Question Time and is followed by a reception in Committee Room 3.

Judging Panel

  • Aileen Campbell MSP, South of Scotland SNP
  • John Lamont MSP, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative & Unionist
  • Jim Tolson MSP, Dunfermline West, Scottish Liberal Democrats.
  • Local MSPs of the winning school teams
  • Cathy Jamieson Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish Labour MSP.
  • Andrew Welsh MSP (SNP) Angus, SNP.
  • The First Minister, the Rt.Hon. Alex Salmond SNP MSP.

Media Contact

For further information, to attend the awards ceremony and for filming and photo opportunities please contact: Sue Garland Media Relations Manager, Citizenship Foundation sue.garland@citizenshipfoundation.org.uk T: 0207 566 5034 M: 07720 288 438

Access Arrangements

Media including press photographers and TV cameras are welcome to attend the award presentation. Media without Scottish Parliament media accreditation should contact the Scottish Parliament Media Relations Office to organise a day pass (0131 348 6852) beforehand. Media should report to the main 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 sally.coyne@scottish.parliament.uk after 3.00pm on Thursday 19th June.

Contacting the winners

  • National Team Winners:
    • Belmont Academy Ayr. Contact Caroline Peacock on 01292 281733
  • Joint Team Runners-Up:
    • Montrose Academy: Contact Jenni Amos, Public Relations Officer, Angus Council on 01307 476 117 amosj@angus.gov.uk
    • Ellon Academy: Contact Tim McKay on 013587 72015

Notes for editors:

1. The National Youth Parliament Competition (NYPC) Holyrood Model is in its fifth successful year. The NYPC Holyrood Competition was launched in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament in October 2003 and is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. It aims to increase understanding of what happens in the Scottish Parliament, how laws are made, and how everyone is represented in it. Each of the winning teams of 11-18 year olds has recreated the Scottish parliamentary chamber in their school, youth group or a local council chamber and have addressed a devolved issue framed in the same way as a Stage One Debate of an Executive Bill. Taking the roles of Executive, Opposition and 'backbench' MSPs, they made a 20-minute video of their debate. More information at www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/nypc

2. 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 peoples citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. Its work includes resources, training, active learning programmes, community projects and research. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

3. About the Commission for Children and Young People (SCCYP)

The SCCYP promotes and safeguards the rights of children and young people living in Scotland. Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's first Commissioner, has been appointed to make sure all children have their rights respected. www.sccyp.org.uk

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