ESU Schools’ Mace Debating Competition

Senior School
26 Nov 21

On Monday, our Sixth Form debate team, made up of Isaac Forknall, Max Reeves and Struben Savage met in the Sixth Form Study Centre to take part in the first round of the ESU Schools’ Mace debating competition.

The online debate was against a team from St Edmund’s School who proposed that ‘this house would require fathers to take paternity leave’. Isaac, Max and Struben were successful in arguing against this motion, citing long-term damage to the economy, the financial impact on businesses and the possible negative impact on sectors that depend on key workers, such as the NHS.  Struben said, “Although I’ve entered public speaking competitions in the past, this was my first debating competition. It was a fascinating experience listening to the other school’s debates and their opinions on different topics”. Max added, “It was a brand-new experience for me. I wanted to get involved as I am hoping to study Law at university, so it was really useful”. Finally, Isaac said, “I never like to lose a debate or an argument, so I thought that this was a great place to help me develop those skills.  Thinking on the spot was tough, as well as the fact that we were online, which made it harder to read our opponents. I am so happy that we are through to the next round”.

Other schools involved in this round were The King’s School, Canterbury, The Hundred of Hoo Academy and St. Simon Stock Catholic School. The SVS team were successful on the night and will now go through to the next round which will be held face-to-face early in the new year.  Mr Ellmers, Head of Sixth Form, said, “I was so impressed by their debating skills and this means we are now one step closer to going to Dartmouth House”.