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Schools Host Inaugural Inter-Schools Debate

Debating competition StamfordYear 10 and 11 students from Stamford School and Stamford High School enjoyed an afternoon of competitive debating this week at the Schools' first inter-schools debating competition.

Young teams from Stamford Endowed Schools, Oakham, Uppingham and Oundle took part in the competition, with motions ranging from the safety of driverless cars to the merits of space exploration and performance-enhancing drugs in sport. The motions certainly engaged the audience, who were keen to ask questions during the floor debate.

Isabel Buck and Oscar Dixon-Spain, both in Year 10, were successful in their round against Oakham, earning SES a place in the final against Oundle. A second SES Year 10 team, Barnaby Shand and Fergus Cato, fought hard against a much more experienced team from Oundle School; Oundle were deserving winners of the Oswald Elliott shield, a new debating trophy designed and created for the event by Mr Mike Holdsworth of the Stamford School Design and Technology department.

The debates were judged by Mrs Isla Matthews (in charge of debating at SHS for many years before her recent retirement) and Mrs Janet Meenaghan, Principal of New College, Stamford. The SES teams were coached by Miss Sarah Davies and Mr David Gloucester.

All four schools are looking forward to a re-match next year. Karen Leetch, responsible for debating at Stamford School, was pleased that the event raised the profile of debating at SES: "In a society where oracy and the ability to exchange reasoned arguments with confidence, whilst being prepared to listen and respond to the opinions of others is increasingly important, debating skills are a key part of a school's co-curricular provision."