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2 October, 2006

New teacher training and youth group sessions for National Youth Parliament Competition

The National Youth Parliament Competition, funded by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, is now open for applications and the first thirty teachers to apply will receive a day's training in either Westminster or Holyrood. This will include a trip round Parliament, meeting an MP/MSP, workshop preparation for the competition and sessions on teaching politics in Citizenship/Modern Studies. We are running these days in conjunction with the Parliamentary Education Units. In addition, we will be offering youth groups free training workshops for the competition.

Now in its sixteenth successful year, the National Youth Parliament Competition helps bring to life the process of parliament, government and politics. It offers young people the opportunity to take on the roles of Government, Opposition and backbench MPs, recreate the parliamentary chamber, and make a 20 minute video of their debate on a mock bill.

Students in Scotland can choose to model their debates on Westminster, or Holyrood where they can recreate the Scottish parliamentary chamber to debate a devolved issue.

Videos are judged by MPs in Westminster or MSPs in Holyrood with awards at regional and national levels. National Winners will attend a reception at Westminster, or Holyrood to receive their awards from high profile politicians. In past years winners have also had tea at 10 Downing Street.

Chief Executive, Tony Breslin spoke about the new support for the competition saying, “The competition supports the citizenship curriculum and provides key skills for young people both inside and outside school. Healthy democracies need well-informed citizens who understand the democratic process and have the skills and confidence to participate.

"Through this competition students can expand their knowledge and understanding about the work of parliament and becoming informed citizens, they can develop skills of enquiry and communication, and expand their thinking about current political, moral, and social issues. We are really excited to be providing new support for teachers and youth groups this year, and hope that they find it useful.”

Participating teams can also enter the press officer competition to raise local awareness about their entry, and a five minute Prime Minister’s Question Time. Full guides are available for all aspects of the competition.

The closing date for registration is Friday 15th December 2006. Schools will receive their resources within one month of registration. Video entries must be returned by 23rd March 2007.

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