News item

Stoke school students know how to stick up for themselves!

Four teenagers from a Stoke on Trent school are celebrating after becoming national champions - for knowing how to stand up for their rights!

The pupils, from Aynsley School, won the Consumer Challenge Quiz national final, held at the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) annual conference and exhibition in Bournemouth on Tuesday (24 June).

The quiz tests youngsters on consumer issues so they can grow into confident adults who know their rights and responsibilities.

And the Aynsley team managed to beat off competition from 30 other schools from across the country in the final.

The pupils won a package of prizes - including £1,000 for the school, a DVD player, an MP3 player, computer games and vouchers.

Teacher Clare Primett said children at the school would be asked how the prize money should be spent.

She added: 'The team worked really well together and I am really proud of what they have achieved.

'All of the children have got so much out of the competition and I would like to thank trading standards for their support.'

Team captain Steffi Staley, aged 15, said: 'It is absolutely brilliant to have won. It is a big surprise as we did not expect to win. We all worked well as a team and it feels great to have won.'

Steffi's team-mates were Adam Degg, aged 14, Kirsty Greatbatch, aged 15 and Jamie Shenton, aged 15.

More than 200 schools from around the country originally entered the 2008 Consumer Challenge Quiz, organised by Mike Gutowski, principal education officer for Birmingham City Council's trading standards service.

Mike said: 'We launched the Consumer Challenge Quiz a few years ago for children with learning difficulties.

'It is probably even more important that this vulnerable group of young people learn about their rights - and this is high on the curriculum in their schools.'

Notes to Editors

The national Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2008, organised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) - a 'must' for consumer journalists!

The TSI-hosted annual Conference and Exhibition is the leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe.

Conference 2008 is being held at Bournemouth International Centre from Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 June. The conference press office will be open from 8am on Monday 23 June (the day before the event starts) until 2pm on Thursday 26 June.

Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend but should contact the press office on 0845 608 9430 to arrange passes.

The conference is hosted by TSI chairman Bryan Lewin.

Almost 2,000 people are attending the conference, including representatives from local and central government and those interested in fair trading, representatives of business and commerce, together with consumer organisations. This makes it an ideal place for consumer affairs journalists to mingle and make contacts!

Trading Standards Institute

The Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.

Our aim is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of empowering and informing consumers, encouraging and working with honest businesses, targeting rogue traders and rogue trading practices and contributing to the health, welfare and wellbeing of citizens and communities.

TSI members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities in response to 2 million consumer and business complaints and enquiries each year. They also support the delivery of new initiatives such as Consumer Direct, providing first point of contact practical consumer advice.

They also work in the business, consumer and central government sectors in promoting and influencing the safety, prosperity and enhancement of individuals and markets with a dependency on effective and professional trading standards contributions and interventions.