TWO Clydebank school pupils have won through to the second stage of a national debating tournament.

Amelia Dalziel and Michael Newman from Clydebank High School successfully put forward their arguments to the motion ‘This House would introduce compulsory National Civic Service for all 15 and 16 year olds’.

They are among pupils in 32 teams from schools across Scotland competing in the Law Society of Scotland’s contest.

Now in its 21st year, the annual Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament is the biggest competition of its kind in Scotland, with 64 teams putting their powers of persuasion to the test in the opening round.

Lyndsey Thomson, careers and outreach coordinator at the Law Society, said: “We’ve had an excellent start to this year’s tournament with high standards of debating being demonstrated in the first round.

Read more: BAE Systems to recruit record breaking number of apprentices

“It’s great to see that one of the successful teams is from a school taking part in the competition for the first time.

“Many schools now have debating clubs and they really encourage pupils to learn how to build convincing arguments and give them a voice to express their views and opinions.

“Debating is a great skill to have, and it’s been really encouraging to see so many schools entering teams in the tournament this year.”

Further heats will take place this month and the semi-finals will be held in early spring before the grand final in June.

The Law Society awards first place a prize of £1,000, and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.