The annual East of England Sixth Form Public Speaking Competition has got off to a highly impressive start this year with a total of 16 participants from Colchester County High School for Girls and The Perse School, Cambridge, contesting the first four heats. The competition features speakers only and is conducted over Zoom throughout. Topics are chosen by individual participants and winners have addressed issues such as mental health, freedom of speech and the Palestinian question. There are another 16 competition dates to go with schools still signing up to take part. The final is on Wednesday, 30 November at 7.30pm, when BBC political journalist Charlotte Rose will be one of the adjudicators. Please keep the date in your diary – details of how to attend virtually will follow.