Cathedral Education Centre to Help Students Find and Use Their Voices

This autumn, St Albans Cathedral is partnering with the University of Hertfordshire to host two lively free events to engage local Sixth Formers with political and social issues of the day.  The first of these, ‘Find Your Voice’, will be held on Friday 13th October with a series of workshops giving instruction and support in public speaking and how to prepare for it.

The second is ‘Speak Your Mind’ on Thursday 23rd November, when the Nave of the Cathedral will be filled with hundreds of inquisitive Sixth Formers from across the region as St Albans Cathedral hosts its 19th annual Sixth Form Debate. As in previous years, the format of the event will be based on the BBC’s Question Time and is designed to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions and share in a morning of debate.

With a panel including the Conservative MP for Harpenden, Bim Afolami, Daisy Cooper, who stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate in St Albans in the recent General Election, Rabbi Pete Tobias, and journalist and author Peter Hitchens, the debate is sure to be lively. Completing the panel will be Shelby Loasby - President of the University of Hertfordshire’s Student’s Union - all chaired by BBC 3 Counties Radio presenter Mike Naylor. ‘Speak Your Mind’ has been designed to allow those present to consider the topics they feel most strongly about.  Given the current climate, topics of debate are set to include tuition fees, immigration, Donald Trump, Brexit and the tensions in North Korea. 

Education Officer Steve Clarke said of these topics that ‘even though questions are submitted in advance, the nature of these issues is that they are not fixed so we can allow the panel to be reactive to the most recent developments and news stories.’ There will also be opportunities for questions from the floor so there could be a few surprises in store for the panellists on the day.

Both events are only possible with the support of the University of Hertfordshire.

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