On Friday evening I was at Denstone College (think Hogwarts in Staffordshire) to help judge a round of the English Speaking Union’s Churchill National Speaking Competition for Schools. The ESU is “an international educational charity and membership organisation that brings together people of different languages and cultures in over 50 countries …[running] educational programmes, competitions and cultural exchanges to develop confident communicators, critical thinkers and empowered citizens.”


5 teams from 4 schools spoke on and debated subjects as diverse as driver-less cars, the rights of the elderly, and civil rights and terrorism. The quality of the debate was spectacular, and I congratulate the winning team (from Repton School), the runners up (Denstone), the contributors whose achievements were recognised on the evening, and all the young people who took part. I had a great evening.