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The Friary School takes the top prize in Lichfield and Burntwood schools speaking competition

Students from the Friary School have walked away with the top prize at a local speaking competition.

The Guildhall hosted the Michael Fabricant and Arthur Price of England Schools Speaking competition on Friday (March 3), which also featured teams from Erasmus Darwin Academy, John Taylor High School and King Edward VI School.

Jack Askew, James Wilson, Michael Fabricant MP, Simon Price, Pamela Nyambayo, and Nathan de Giorgi, with judges Robert Yardley, David Ratcliffe and Cllr Sheelagh James

Jack Askew, James Wilson, Michael Fabricant MP, Simon Price, Pamela Nyambayo, and Nathan de Giorgi, with judges Robert Yardley, David Ratcliffe and Cllr Sheelagh James. Pic: Robert Yardley Photography

The contest saw them oppose plans for people to pay for ambulance costs if they are taken to hospital due to being drunk.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said: “Some of the teams argued that the NHS should be free as a matter of principle, while other teams argued the impracticality and cost of collecting any ambulance fees and in determining whether drunkenness might also be regarded as a form of disease.”

The Friary School Team of James Wilson, Jack Askew and Pamela Nyambayo won the best overall school team award, while Nathan de Giorgi of John Taylor High School won the best overall speaker prize.

Mr Fabricant added: “The standard of speaking was particularly high this year – And although it did not require a flip of the coin, one of the awards was particularly close.

“The competition is run on Parliamentary lines and I am very grateful to Lichfield City Council who do a huge amount of the behind the scenes work and provide the necessary pomp and circumstance. I’m also grateful to the Rotary Club of Lichfield St Chad who provide the time-keeper and one of the judges.

“But most of all, I really appreciate the hard work done by the students who take part in the competition and the family, friends, and teachers who support them in the audience, wave their Order Papers, and cheer as loudly as MPs at Prime Minister’s Question Time. Though I didn’t catch any jeering.”

Photos show all the teams and the audience waving their Order Papers and cheering and the winners (top row l to r: Jack Askew, James Wilson, Michael Fabricant, Simon Price, Pamela Nyambayo, and Nathan de Giorgi – bottom row l to r the judges: Robert Yardley (Sheriff of Lichfield), David Ratcliffe (President of the Rotary Club St Chad), and Cllr Mrs Sheelagh James (Mayor of Lichfield).

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