From taxing junk food to single sex schools, gender bias in sports to the importance of vocational and social education, students from four Worthing schools debated these hot topics in the Council Chamber of Worthing Town Hall.
Almost 40 students from Davison High School For Girls, Worthing High School, Chatsmore Catholic High School and Durrington High School took part in the first ever Mayor of Worthing Youth Debate.
The topics debated were submitted by the schools who took part. While pupils were informed of had the topics in advance, they did not know whether they would be arguing for or against.
After an afternoon of excellent debate, Davison was awarded the highest number of points on the day.
Councillor Alex Harman, the Mayor of Worthing, said: “I would like to thank all schools who took part today, it was fantastic to see the Worthing Mayor’s Youth Debate become reality! I was absolutely blown away by confidence and ability of all students who attended.
“Hopefully, these debates will continue giving the young people within the Borough the opportunity to build on their debating abilities and to debate in the Council Chamber.”
Caroline Nicholls, the High Sheriff of West Sussex, was joined on the judging panel by Tim Loughton MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Mary D’Arcy, the Director of Communities at Worthing Borough Council and Worthing Youth Mayor Joshua Davies.
Mrs Nicholls said: “The event was inspired and inspiring – the young people were given a unique opportunity to debate issues close to their hearts and they all rose to the challenge, speaking with a real conviction – and a great respect for each others views. It was also a lot of fun.
“I’d like to congratulate the Mayor of Worthing for setting this up – I hope it becomes a regular event, not just in Worthing but in other council chambers too; it’s a really valuable way to get young people involved.”