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Success for Broxburn debating team

The incredible achievement of Broxburn Academy's successful debaters has been recognised.

27 October
The winning Broxburn Academy team with the Donald Dewar trophy

The council's Education Policy, Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP) welcomed a delegation from Broxburn Academy recently, to outline the superb accomplishments by their young debaters in recent years.

Since 2016, Broxburn Academy has established itself as one of the most successful schools for debating in Scotland. Debating is known to offer numerous academic and personal benefits for pupils, such as learning and enhancing research and communication skills as well as fostering confidence, removing social barriers, and empowering students to excel academically,

Highlights of the school's achievements during this period include pupils attending debates against the top schools from around the world in Oxford and Cambridge, captaining the national schools debating team in Vietnam and winning The Law Society's prestigious Donald Dewar debating award.

Headteacher Peter Reid, Teacher Robbie McDonald and pupils Emma, Luke and Sarah attended committee to give first-hand account of how the opportunities created through debating have benefited pupils.

Chair of the Education PDSP, Councillor Andrew McGuire said: "The achievements by the debaters at Broxburn Academy has been phenomenal.

"It was great to hear first-hand their personal experiences on how debating is already helping deliver huge benefits on their lives.

"Huge congratulations to all the young people involved, with the panel members enjoying the sample debate on artificial intelligence put on for us by the pupils." 

Broxburn Academy are now using their expertise in debating to support other schools in West Lothian and across Scotland to establish or improve their debating clubs.

Broxburn Academy Headteacher Peter Reid added: "We're hugely proud of all our debating pupils at Broxburn Academy and what they have achieved since 2016.

"Special thanks go to the pupils for all their hard work, and their teacher and former Broxburn Academy pupil Robbie McDonald for his commitment to supporting them. 

"It's important to also mention the important role of Broxburn's former school captain, Emma B, for in making this such a success. Emma is now the first undergraduate student from Broxburn enrolled at Cambridge University, but continues to give up her time where possible to support the current pupils.

"I hope Broxburn Academy will continue to be a centre of excellence for debating for many years to come."