legal eagles of the future

Students from Holmleigh Park High School recently competed in the annual nationwide Young Magistrates Competition.

We competed in our local heat, which took place in Worcester, against 11 other schools. The majority of our team was made up of students on the Holmleigh Park scholars programme in Years 8 and 9, as well as some students who applied because of their interest in the legal system.

Participating students were given a criminal case in December and then had three months to plan both a prosecution and defence case for it. They took on the roles of lawyers, legal adviser, court usher, witnesses and magistrates. The team met weekly to discuss the evidence and plan the case with the lawyers – planning opening/closing speeches, examination in chief questions and cross-examinations.

On the day, we competed in two cases, one prosecuting and one defending. The students did an incredible job, and I was very proud of how eloquently they spoke in front of a packed court room. The trials took place in Worcester Magistrates Court, with real magistrates sitting on the bench with our student magistrates and various people from the court system judging the teams. 

Holmleigh Park didn't place in the top three this time, but students had a great day and learnt so much about how the court system works. It is something I organised as an opportunity for our scholars to share my own experience and enjoyment of law. I completed my undergraduate course in law and then trained as a barrister, so it was great to share some of those skills with them.

Kinza Barrett, Assistant Headteacher, Holmleigh Park High School