Debating finalists receive ongoing support from Faculty

17 Mar

The debating team from Bishopbriggs Academy with Lady Rae and Mr Keith Gilmour.

A GROUP of schoolchildren from Bishopbriggs Academy will soon be on their way to London to compete in the national finals of the Bar Mock Trial Competition where they will continue to receive support from Members of Faculty.

The team advanced to the national finals after winning the Scottish heat of the annual Bar Mock Trial Competition. The Scottish finals took place at the Saltmarket in Glasgow and were judged by Lady Rae. 

“I have loved these events over the many years I have been involved - what amazing young people. I so admire the work which members of Faculty do in their own time to support this worthwhile competition,” she said.

The winning team was mentored by Faculty members Gareth Reid and Kenneth Cloggie, who will be on hand to assist them at the finals at the Royal Courts of Justice next weekend. The competition is run by The Citizenship Foundation and is open to 15 to 18-year-olds from non-fee paying schools in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Students who take part are encouraged to think critically, build arguments, and boost their confidence. Their participation helps them build employability skills and develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system.

Faculty’s involvement in the competition is currently coordinated by Craig Findlater. “Faculty has been involved for many decades as a sponsor and each year Faculty members volunteer to mentor the schools that compete in Scotland. For the junior counsel that volunteer this often means travelling quite long distances to provide advocacy coaching in person and providing online support as well as the competition progresses. Many describe it as amongst the most professionally rewarding activities they do each year.”

“Our appointed advocate mentors, Kenny Cloggie and Gareth Reid, were terrific and came out to assist pupils with their preparations and with full run-throughs of each case,” said Keith Gilmour, a teacher and the debating teams coach at Bishopbriggs Academy.

“Our pupils were thoroughly enjoying the Bar Mock Trial experience long before they found out they had made it into the final or been declared the eventual winners in Scotland. They are very excited about going to London but know they face the twin challenges of even tougher competition as well as adjustments due to variations in English and Scottish legal procedures.”