Here’s a pitch: let’s show the power of speech and debate to help kids make it through school (and life). Good news. It exists, thanks to this Sky 1 show following 20 students as they attend an after schoolclubs. And it ends up in Parliament….brilliant!
The result is an eight-part series from the people behind Educating Yorkshire called The Kings & Queens Of Speech, which tries to transform the children into confident young adults by encouraging them to speak up. The first six episodes each focus on a different British school as teams of pupils are trained in debating skills. The winning team from each school will then travel to the Oxford Union to compete in the semi-finals, with the final being held at Parliament, where they’ll learn a thing or two from the pros (or should that be teach them a thing or two?).
The project is the brainchild of the charity Debate Mate, which takes children who would never traditionally be involved in debating societies and gives them 16 weeks of intensive training. It works in 200 schools across Britain, and claims to help 4,500 disadvantaged students each week.‘Our school did have a debating team, but it was made up of the sort of boys you’d expect to find – the high achievers,’ explains Mr Whiteley. ‘The remit here was to ask different types of boys to get involved.’