Four school teams have won through to the final of the Law Society of Scotland’s national debating tournament after the conclusion of the semi-finals.
Laura Wood and Sarah Gardner from the Royal High School (Edinburgh), Caitlin Sherret and Findlay Allmond from Nairn Academy, Andrew Buchan and Ross Heenan from Braes High School (Falkirk), and Adam McGirr and Luke MacPhee from St Maurice’s High (Cumbernauld) will compete for the winner's trophy in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 9 June.
More than 100 Scottish schools entered 128 teams at the outset of the competition, and the finalists have already had to tackle topics such as compensation for historical injustice, whether the internet does more harm than good, and whether the BBC should be privatised.
Liz Campbell, executive director of education, training & qualifications at the Society, commented: "The semi-finals really test the competitors' skills as debaters, as the teams have just one hour to prepare after receiving the motion. They are not permitted access to any newspapers, computers or smartphones during that time so they really have to think on their feet.
“The teams that have made it through to the final should be very proud of what they have achieved. Getting to the final of this year’s Donald Dewar Debating Tournament is no small feat and I’m looking forward to hearing what the teams have to say when they take to the floor in the grand setting of the Parliament’s debating chamber.”
In addition to the trophy, the winning team will be presented with £1,000 for their school from the Society, and tournament sponsors Hodder Gibson will present the winners and runners-up with educational books to the value of £500.