The English Speaking Union (ESU') Public Speaking Competition for schools has been running for over 50 years and this year saw over 300 schools enter from across England and Wales. Reaching the National Finals is no mean feat, with the majority of teams having won a local heat, local final and regional final to earn their place in the top 8.
This year's judging panel, chaired by Baroness Maggie Jones, the Shadow Minister for Education in the House of Lords, commended the finalists on the high quality of this year's competition. There are a number of awards presented each year, and the winners in individual categories were:
Baroness Jones then announced that the team who were runners-up were Archbishop Beck Catholic College, and that the winners of this year's competition were Blundell's School.
Speaking after the event, Headteacher Paul Dickinson said, “We are immensely proud of our students as they did themselves, the school, the local ESU branch and the city proud. They worked really hard at a difficult time considering that two members of the team are about to take major GCSEs examinations!"
The Archbishop Beck Team comprised of Ellis, Michael and Lewis.