Uddingston pupils argue their way to top prize

Uddingston Grammar's Olivia Steven and James Munro won the Scullion Law Schools' Debating Championship
Uddingston Grammar's Olivia Steven and James Munro won the Scullion Law Schools' Debating Championship

UDDINGSTON Grammar’s James Munro and Olivia Steven narrowly defeated Abronhill High’s Ruth McQueeney and Louise Reid to take this year’s cup at the Scullion Law Schools’ Debating Championship Final.

At the Banqueting Hall of South Lanarkshire Council’s headquarters, the Uddingston youngsters presented the motion ‘This House would abolish the requirement for the corroboration of evidence in Scots Criminal Law’ with the Abronhill duo arguing against.

The judges - Ian Leitch Llb. CBE, Margaret Mitchell MSP and Glasgow University Debating Society’s Duncan Crowe, Lucia Sontseva and Chris Edgar - had an extremely difficult job in deciding the winner because of the high standard of debate from both teams.

Sixteen schools took part this year and everyone has been awarded a Diploma and a gift from Tunnock’s in recognition of their efforts.

While the judges deliberated, superb entertainment was provided by Abronhill High’s acoustic band and Larkhall Academy semi-finalist Adam MacCloy’s bass saxophone.

Public speaking encourages pupils to develop skills which can be taken forward into their adult, social and working lives.

Scullion Law director Martin Carey said: “This is the third year of the challenge which is part of Scullion Law’s commitment to the community.

“The pupils who took part witnessed live debate at Hamilton Sheriff Court and gained skills in several areas such as research, originality of thought, the formation and presentation of an argument and the confidence to deliver it in public.

“This will be invaluable to them no matter what career they decide to pursue.”

Helen Salt of South Lanarkshire and Jackie Cahill of North Lanarkshire co-ordinated the event which was attended by North Lanarkshire’s head of education services Jane Liddell and education officer David Craig, and South Lanarkshire’s depute director of education resources Jim Gilhooly and Q10 Sandra Bogan.

More than 30 young people have had work experience this year within the Scullion Law offices at 105 Cadzow Street, Hamilton.

The four finalists received a tour of Tunnocks factory in Uddingston as part of their prize.