Citizenship - Young Scots for parliament

Ten pupils from Douglas Academy in Milngavie will be the voice of the UK at the European Youth Parliament in France until Sunday.

The S5-6 pupils' progression through local, regional and national heats saw them win more than a dozen debates, beating off opposition from schools from across the UK.

Their victory means they have represented their country at the 59th International Session of the European Youth Parliament in the town of Rennes (pictured) in northwestern France. It is the second time in six years that pupils from the East Dunbartonshire school have achieved this prestigious position and its new headteacher, Seamus Black, is delighted at the success. "The young people and their teachers have worked very hard and I'm thrilled," he said. "They have had to hone their debating skills, take part in team-building and, of course, study a number of important and complex topics on which they had to speak."

But the trip to France is just the beginning. Over the next six years, they will travel around Europe supporting international events and encouraging other young people to get involved in activities to help shape the future of Europe. Depute head Kenny Gray, who accompanied the pupils to France, said: "In a lot of competitions, if you win, you get your trophy and you go home - but this gives young people a chance to be involved for a significant length of time. It's a life-changing experience."

www.eypej.org.

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