News item

Kent school crowned national champions

A Kent school has won the coveted Trading Standards Institute (TSI) Young Consumers of the Year 2008 competition, sponsored by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) - taking home the College of Fellows trophy, medals and £1,000 for their school.

The team from Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, in Kent - led by their captain Joe Mooney, aged 17 - clinched the title at the TSI's Annual Conference and Exhibition in Bournemouth, on Wednesday (25 June). The award was presented by OFT Chief Executive John Fingleton.

Hundreds of schools from across the country entered this year's competition to find Britain's best-informed young consumers.

Teams from 10 regions competed in the semi-finals at Bournemouth - and Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, representing the South East region, beat three other teams in the grand final.

Young Consumers of the Year, organised by TSI, offers young people the chance to show their awareness of the world around them and their ability to make informed choices about what they eat, what they buy and how they manage their money.

John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive, said: 'Consumers are expected to navigate and make important decisions in increasingly complex markets.

'The education of young consumers about their rights and responsibilities is a central platform for better performing, more efficient and responsive markets.

'Congratulations to everyone who has taken part - the OFT is very proud to be involved.'

The winning team - made up of Dan Keim, aged 16, Geoff Baldwin, Ben Abrams and Joe Mooney, all aged 17 - beat Boroughmuir High School, from Edinburgh, Ackworth School, from Wakefield, and Stockport Grammar, from Manchester, in the grand final.

Teacher Darren Butler said: 'It has been an amazing experience and the team's victory is testament to the hard work they have put into learning information and also their interest in the subject matter, as well as their keenness to enter a competition like this.

'I have been impressed by the effort and knowledge of all the teams in the final.'

Mike Drewry, the competition's lead officer from TSI, said: 'We congratulate all the young people who entered this year's competition - they will have gained knowledge and awareness which will stay with them for life.

'The team from Kent were very worthy winners and did well to come back from being nine points down in the final round.'

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.