TWO Otley students are celebrating winning a prestigious national debating contest.

Stephen Dawes and Lewis Suttle, both Sixth Formers at Prince Henry's Grammar School, were triumphant in the sixth annual Benjamin Franklin Debate Competition, Frankly Speaking.

The event took place at the American Embassy in London, where the final debate topic was: 'This House believes the next 70 years of the special relationship between the US and the UK will be stronger than the previous'.

The opposing arguments were judged by the American ambassador, who named Stephen and Lewis as winners of the team competition and first and second, respectively, for individual scores.

As top scorer, Stephen has been awarded an all-expenses-paid place at the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Acting deputy head of sixth form at Prince Henry's, Ben Konopinski, said: "The Sixth Form Debating Society is one of the many enrichment activities we offer our sixth form students as they prepare for life beyond school.

"Both students performed extremely well in the debates and Stephen has now gained an amazing opportunity as a result! We are very proud of them and their achievements.”

Funded by the US Department of State, Stephen's place at the summer institute will allow him to explore American culture and politics while developing his leadership skills.