The team of Ethan Cruxton, Adam Woodward, and Laura Holbrook from
Chasetown Specialist Sports College won the Michael Fabricant MP &
Arthur Price of England Speaking Competition at the Guildhall in
Lichfield last night (Friday 29th February). And Adam Woodward won The
Best Individual Speech Award too. The winners were awarded cups –
donated by Arthur Price of England – and have been invited by Michael
Fabricant down to the House of Commons.
"The standard of debate was particularly high this year" says Michael
Fabricant. "The subject was compulsory education to 18. Interestingly,
all four schools taking part argued strongly against this proposal.
Many of the speakers said that it would cause major disruption in
classes, damaging the education of those who want to work for high A
level grades. On questioning by the panel of judges, several speakers
said that they had discussed this with their teachers who are also
against the plan. I shall be passing all this information on to Ed
Balls, the Secretary of State for Schools, who has devised the scheme.
"I am looking forward to seeing Ethan, Adam, and Laura down at the House
of Commons in the summer after their exams. Several speakers mentioned
Michael Gove, the Shadow Schools Secretary of State and newspaper
columnist, and I am hoping that they will have the chance to meet him
when they are in Westminster.
" ‘Mr Speaker’ this year was Sir Bernard Zissman, the former Lord Mayor
of Birmingham. He told me how articulate he thought the students from
Lichfield and Burntwood were.
"I was proud of all four teams that took part" Michael adds.
The photograph is provided by Robert Yardley Photography
Photograph shows left to right: Cllr Terry Thomas* (Sheriff of
Lichfield), Cllr Mark Warfield (Mayor of Lichfield – the Mayor was NOT a
judge as he teaches in one of the schools taking part), Michael
Fabricant, Laura Holbrook, Adam Woodward, Ethan Cruxton, Simon Price*
(Managing Director of Arthur Price of England), Sir Bernard Zissman*
(‘Mr Speaker’), Cllr Mrs Norma Bacon* (Deputy Mayor of Lichfield), and
Keith Eagland* (President of the Rotary Club of Lichfield St Chad who
help organise the contest). The asterisk denotes the five on the