Learning public speaking is a skill for life says MP Lucy Frazer at schools debate training day

MP Lucy Fraser arranges the second debating skills training day for students from the Ely area

MP Lucy Fraser arranges the second debating skills training day for students from the Ely area - Credit: Archant

A debate training day, to improve the life skills of young people, was held at Cambridge University Union.

Organised by Lucy Frazer MP, six secondary schools from around the constituency took part.

As a former barrister. Lucy said she knows the benefits of being able to debate well and the difference good public speaking skills can make to someone’s outcome in the work-place and in life.

The training was conducted by Debate Mate, a charity committed to improving social mobility through debating.

Lucy said: “I am so thrilled by the success of the debating training day and the interest in, and appeal of the inter schools debating competition.

“I know, first hand, just how valuable being able to debate well and make your opinions known can be.

“Having the confidence to speak out and to speak up for yourself can totally change your life’s prospects and I think the opportunity to tackle social mobility by arming pupils with these skills is so vital.

Most Read

“Such skills improve confidence, raise aspirations and vastly increase the likelihood of being able to fulfil ones true potential. This day would not be possible without the support of the fantastic schools in my constituency and I am so grateful to teachers and heads for supporting their students by taking part in the event.”

Richard Spencer, principal of Ely College, said: “Public speaking and the ability to confidently debate the issues of the day is such a valuable skill to acquire.

“Our students at Ely College gain so much from these opportunities and I look forward to the subsequent competition.”

Christopher Walkinshaw, communications director of Marshall of Cambridge, said: ”We are delighted to support this excellent initiative from Lucy Frazer aimed at encouraging students from South East Cambridgeshire Schools to develop the debating and communication skills which will help them in their future careers.”

Schools were invited to send up to four, year 11 students to participate. A total of 25 students took part.

This is the second year Lucy has organised a training day made possible by the support of Marshall of Cambridge.

It is organised prior to the fourth annual South East Cambridgeshire inter-school parliamentary debating competition which Lucy established when she first became an MP in 2014.