A WIDNES schoolgirl has been crowned a champion after winning the 2017 Liverpool Archdiocese Public Speaking Competition.

Alex Littlejohn impressed judges with her speech on her biggest concern for the future, the education system.

The 13-year-old pupil from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College competed against students from schools and colleges at Archbishop Beck Catholic College on Friday.

In her speech Alex examined the South Korean system and how it performs much better than the UK.

She said: “What we can learn from South Korea is that their students have utter respect for their teachers and this is a result of a higher expectation and reinforcement from their parents on the value of education.

“In the UK today teachers have less power over their students and, as a result, students don't have the respect therefore it has a detrimental effect on their education.”

Alex was praised for her well-balanced speech, where she also highlighted the positive aspects of the UK system.

She said: “Education is more than just about finding a job.

“By teaching creative subjects, young people are able to express themselves, possibly even finding a hidden talent.

“For me personally, having a timetable without drama would be intolerable.”

Fellow pupil Owen Teeling gave a thoughtful speech on the subject of ‘If I was an animal what would I be?”

The 12-year-old chose an American Bald Eagle.

The aim of the contest was to foster presentation and communication skills.

The judges Geraldine Poole, Soroptimist International Liverpool, Paul Holleley, English Speaking Union, Lisa James, Pearson area Manager) and Deacon Paul Mannings were overwhelmed by the confidence, knowledge and talent of the students.

Emma Seddon, from Saint Peter and Paul Catholic College, said: “Alex’s speech was outstanding and the standard at the competition was incredibly high.

“Owen also gave an incredible performance.

"Our public speaking club is designed to extend the work we do in college to build confidence in our students, helping them to express themselves and find their voice for interviews, speeches or presentations.”