The final of the annual East Region Sixth Form Public Speaking Competition was held online on 6 December 2021. Five speakers took part, each of whom had qualified as the winner of a school heat and through an area semi-final. The audience included three attachés from the German Foreign Office, who joined in by asking relevant questions. BBC political journalist Charlotte Rose and Chair of the ESU Young Members’ Forum Louis Preston judged Caitlin (pictured) of The Sandon School, Chelmsford, to be the winner, and Libby from Bedford Modern School as runner-up. Caitlin argued why we should care about neurodiversity and Libby presented the case for veganism. Each receives a prize from the ESU of a book of famous speeches and National Book Tokens.
Thirty-one entrants from nine schools participated in the competition overall with the following also reaching the final: Elinor from St Benedict’s Catholic School, Bury St Edmunds; Niamh from Felsted School and Harry from The Perse School, Cambridge. Our congratulations to all involved and to Brian Cooke, Colchester and North Essex Branch Chair, for his sterling efforts.