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Pupils who triumphed in schools debates visit the home of democracy

PUBLISHED: 14:13 11 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:33 11 November 2017

Youngsters from schools in Great Yarmouth who excelled in a schools debating comepetion visit the Houses of Parliament. Photo: Heather Pontin

Youngsters from schools in Great Yarmouth who excelled in a schools debating comepetion visit the Houses of Parliament. Photo: Heather Pontin

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Youngsters who excelled in a schools debating competition have visited the House of Parliament.

Youngsters from schools in Great Yarmouth who excelled in a schools debating comepetion visit the Houses of Parliament. Photo: Heather PontinYoungsters from schools in Great Yarmouth who excelled in a schools debating comepetion visit the Houses of Parliament. Photo: Heather Pontin

The pupils from schools in Great Yarmouth were given a tour of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and a chance to explore the Houses of Parliament with MP Brandon Lewis.

The Great Yarmouth Youth Debate culminated at the Town Hall in February.

The winning team was a year 11 group from Great Yarmouth Charter Academy made up of Keeley Roe, Phoebe Harvey, Lilly Thompson, Erin Spooner.

The team said the whole experience was incredibly rewarding, adding: “We were honoured to be invited into an environment in which great leaders have made difficult decisions on behalf of our country. We now recognise the value of democracy, and the importance of women in politics –something which impacted us most and as an all female team who were successful.

“Women and young people now need to continue to carry the mantle forward in politics as it is still very male dominated.

“People from deprived areas and state-school education, like ourselves, need to realise that they are able to become involved in what are traditionally upper class positions; the experience was truly enlightening.”

The head girl at Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston, Tyler Munro, who also took part in the competition and tour of parliament, said: “It was really inspiring to have the opportunity to take part in both recent events. It was fascinating to watch leading politicians and to experience all the history and tradition that you can see and feel when visiting the Palace of Westminster.”

Director of learning cultures at the academy Spencer Dogget added: “It was wonderful to see a great number of young people so interested in being involved in a political debate.”

The schools involved in the competition were Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, Caister Academy, Lynn Grove Academy, Flegg High and Ormiston Venture Academy.

The debates were organised by former Caister High and East Norfolk sixth form pupil Heather Pontin who went on to study politics at the Brighton University.

She added: “I’m surprised how interested the pupils were. It is really good seeing their enthusiasm.”

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