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English - 'Feisty' debating on cards

As we reported briefly last week, Dundee will host the 2011 World Schools Debating Championships. Organisers hope the competition will generate Pounds 1 million for the local economy, attract some of the world's brightest pupils to its universities, and highlight the city as a tourist destination.

About 350 people from more than 35 countries take part in the competition, which in recent years has been held in Athens, Washington, Seoul and Lima. Scotland won the tournament in 2007.

BBC Scotland's political editor, Brian Taylor, has agreed to be a patron of the event. Irene McGrath, manager of the Scottish schools debating team and head of academic administration at the High School of Dundee, will be the convener of the 2011 contest.

She told The TESS that Dundee had an excellent tradition of debating, fuelled by the "feisty" nature of its people. The extremely high level of competition expected in 2011 would be a great opportunity for "really high-powered academic pupils. We hope that having some of the best young minds in the world will continue to foster Dundee's tradition of participation in debating at all levels."

Mrs McGrath also explained that the event had received great support from Dundee City Council, which had seen the success of the Scottish team in 2007 and been ambitious enough to enquire about hosting it.

Stewart Hunter, vice-convener of the council's education committee, said local pupils would benefit from meeting and watching skilled debaters.

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