Bedford Modern School has been crowned the best school debating team in Bedfordshire after a powerhouse performance at the Houses of Parliament.
The students triumphed in the highly competitive contest put together by the county’s police and crime commissioner Festus Akinbusoye.
The Bedford school fought off stiff competition from runners-up Sandy Secondary School and Stockwood Park Academy, which also won through quarter and semi-final tournaments to be crowned the winners for Central Bedfordshire and Luton respectively.
Last night’s (Wednesday) final took place at the Grand Committee room in Westminster, where students debated the best way to repay government debt incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.
North East Bedfordshire MP Richard Fuller secured the prestigious surroundings for the final, with students debating in front of a panel of judges including the PCC and his Deputy Ian Dalgarno, the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Lady Jane Clifford, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the region Jaswant Narwal and Paul Mackin from Shefford Town Council.
Mr Akinbusoye said: “The debates provide a fantastic opportunity for our young people to develop their confidence, public speaking skills and broaden their knowledge of contemporary social issues.
“More importantly – it is a fun experience for the pupils and makes for a good sociable event as well.
“Some of the contributions last night were worthy of parliamentarians and I am delighted these young people were able to test their skills at the mother of parliaments.
“I want to pass on huge congratulations to the winners, runners up and every school which has taken part in the competition, as well as my thanks to all the competition’s supporters who made this possible.”
The winning students will receive a £50 voucher while their school will be awarded £500 for winning the contest.