Secondary school students from across the Highlands have participated in the first-ever Highland Schools Summer Debating Competition, with Dingwall Academy named as overall winners.

Dingwall Academy triumphed over three other schools (Ardnamurchan, Grantown and Thurso) in the final round of the day-long competition, which was sponsored by law firm Brodies LLP and supported by Young Speakers Scotland and Highland Council.

Eight schools from across Inverness, Lochaber, Ross-shire, Easter Ross, Caithness and Strathspey took part in a series of debates throughout Wednesday 19 June at the Council Chambers in Dingwall, covering a range of topics including tourism, 'tiger parenting' and voting rights.

The event was organised by Alasdair Clarkson, religious, moral and philosophical studies teacher at Inverness Royal Academy.

Inverness-based Brodies' family law partner Sarah Lilley, who was on the judging panel, said: "Brodies is delighted to sponsor the inaugural Highland Schools Summer Debating Competition. The standard of debate has been excellent and is testament to the young talent that we have here in the Highlands. Debating encourages the development of valuable skills that are applicable to a wide variety of careers, including law, and it's important to enable young people to build these skillsets now, to open the door to future opportunities."

Kathleen McKie, who is RME and philosophy teacher at Invergordon Academy, said: "I would like to congratulate all students for their hard work and commitment to delivering a high standard of debate and discussion. The intent behind organising the competition was to promote competitive debate, logical thinking and public speaking, and to give students across the region more opportunities to develop these skills. We're keen to build on this year's success and make it an annual event.

"I am really grateful to Highland Council for use of its fantastic venue; Young Speakers Scotland for its encouragement, continuous advice and expert organisation on the day and of course, Brodies LLP for such strong support and endorsement of both the event and the young people’s continued development of debating and oracy skills.”


Sarah Lilley


Eilidh Morgan

External Communications Manager