Proving their point in debates
Sixth-form students win place in finals after beating six other schools
UXBRIDGE College beat schools from across North London to win a place in final of the national schools debating competition.
Sixth-form students from six schools from across North London fought it out for a place at the Debating Matters national final to be held at the Museum of London in July.
Uxbridge College impressed judges with their sharp ideas and broad approach to the topics to win the competition on Thursday last week.
The 16 to 18 year olds took part in a series of debates on topics such as reparations for slavery, tax incentives to attract investment, and whether we should renew Trident, as part of the UK’s toughest debating competition, the Institute of Ideas’ Debating Matters Competition.
The contest involves nearly 300 schools and 2,000 students from around the UK.
Uxbridge College student Rhema Thomas-Johnson was named as Highly Commended Individual.
Pupils faced a judging panel of adults from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including local business leaders, scientists, authors and academics who questioned them on their arguments and challenge them to defend their research and thinking.
Justine Brian, director of the Debating Matters Competition, said: ‘The competition prides itself on taking young people seriously, valuing ideas and allowing free debate. Some of the brightest and best students are taken out of their comfort zone by tackling these topics. The quality of debaters was again exceptionally high in the London North Region, so congratulations to Uxbridge College!
“We emphasise substance, not just style of debating, and all the students have done incredibly well to get this far.”
Pamela Dow, director of strategy at the Ministry of Justice, and Debating Matters judge said of the final: “The final was a great debate on reparations for slavery. Highgate Wood School almost changed my mind, but Uxbridge College deserved to win. Well done to all the students who took part in Debating Matters.”
Michael Goldfarb, author, broadcaster and journalist, and Debating Matters judge said: “I really enjoyed being a Debating Matters judge. The students were great and very, very talented.”
The Debating Matters Competition is supported by the Wellcome Trust. Hodder Education, Oxford University Press, Saracens RUFC, Science Museum, Team Sport Karting, and Finborough Theatre, donated prizes to the winning students.
Some of the brightest and best students are taken out of their comfort zone by
tackling these topics”