Sixth form Politics students from across Brentwood have showed off their debating skills in a mock-Parliamentary debate hosted by Brentwood and Ongar MP, Alex Burghart, at Brentwood County High School.
The students, from Brentwood County High School, Anglo European School, Shenfield High School and Brentwood School, were kept in order by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Dame Eleanor Laing, MP for Epping Forest.
Alex Burghart commented: “It was excellent to see so many local students honing their debating skills under the expert eye of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. I was very impressed with the standard of debate and with the natural talent that many of the students had for public speaking.
“The main school hall at Brentwood County High School, where we held the debate, is close in size to the House of Commons Chamber so was a highly appropriate setting. I’d like to thank all schools who took part – as well as BCHS in particular for hosting.”
The students were divided into two parties, the Stars Party and the Stripes Party, with the Stars forming the Government and the Stripes the Opposition. The motion was “This House would legalise assisted dying”.
Dame Eleanor said: “Once the Mock Parliamentarians understood the convention of “bobbing” to gain my attention to call them to speak, and understood how to make an intervention, the debate caught fire and I was very impressed by the standard of debating on display.”
Alex, a former teacher, plans to hold further Mock Parliamentary debates in the future. He added: “It is excellent that local schools are fostering students’ interest in politics and political issues – it’s wonderful to be able to help that process.”
If there are local students who would like to be involved in the next Mock Parliament they can get in touch through this website.