Lancashire - Debate hat-trick nets first prize
Pupils from a Lancashire comprehensive have taken first prize in a prestigious national debating contest.
Hutton Church of England Grammar School won the Debating Matters competition, which took place over three days at the Royal Society of Medicine in London earlier this month.
Winning all three of their debates, the team impressed judges with their in-depth research and persuasive arguments.
Tom Holland, an author and historian, who judged the school's semi-final debate on secularism, said: "I was hugely impressed by the debate. It just goes to show that there's no limit on the age of people who can make you change your mind about issues."
Hutton student Adam Rawcliffe, who won a "highly commended" prize, said: "It was really intellectually stimulating but also a lot of fun. We got to meet other motivated, intelligent young people as well as lots of experts in the fields we discuss.
"It has really challenged me to open up to different ideas and I've changed my mind on a lot."
The winners, runners-up and semi-finalists of the competition, organised by the Institute of Ideas, won a combined total of #163;7,000 worth of books and educational resources. DM.