Bearsden Academy pupil Max talks the talk at The Scottish Parliament

Bearsden Academy pupil Max Cochrane so impressed judges with his debating skills that he not only progressed to the final of a prestigious national debating competition but went on to lift the Winners Quaich.

The Scottish Parliament recently played host to the annual St Andrew’s Day Debate.

This prestigious national schools debating competition featured Max, who fought his way through the initial rounds, held throughout the day in the committee rooms of the parliament, to win a coveted place in the final held in the main debating chamber.

The competition, now in its seventh year, is organised by the English Speaking Union Scotland and in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Parliament.

It uniquely pairs university students with some of Scotland’s brightest young people from schools throughout the country.

In total 24 schools from Tain Royal Academy in the North to Annan Academy in the south, took part in the competition with Scottish Universities across the country.

Max was partnered with Glasgow University student Duncan Crowe and the pair won the final on the topic of ‘This house believes that a good dictatorship is better that a bad democracy’

Including Max, the other finalists came from Balfron HIgh School, Madras College in Fife and High School of Dundee.

Dr Ian Duncan from English-Speaking Union said: “We were amazed with the high level of debating skills on display from Erin and all those participating in the competition.

The St Andrews Day debate is one of the most prestigious debating competitions in Scotland, uniquely pairing university students with young people from schools the length and breadth of the country.

“This competition just gets better every year and we would ask any schools who want to participate in the competition in the future to contact us.”