Oxford Schools Debate

Senior School
6 Mar 20

On Tuesday, Juliet De Banzie and William Chambers (both Lower Sixth), accompanied by Mr Ellmers, travelled to Dulwich College in London to participate in the Oxford Schools Debate. William gives his account below:

“After a last-minute change of venues and the merger of the South London and South East regional rounds, we were faced with the largest regional debating competition in the country, judged by Oxford debaters and with hundreds of participants from schools around the South East. The competition consisted of debates in British parliamentary style, with each round comprising of four separate teams, each of whom was told the motion for debate 15 minutes before it began, with the teams evenly distributed into the proposition and opposition sides.

Each team then battled it out: the opening proposition spoke first, followed by the opening opposition, followed again by a member of the proposition until all members had spoken – all the while being challenged by points of information from opposing teams. Our first debate dealt with the notion that “This House would force the children and families of elected officials to use state-run education and health establishments”.

After a strong opening opposition speech from Juliet, in which she shot down many of the opposition’s points, together with clear opposition reasoning by myself, we progressed to the second round. Despite two further strong speeches, we, unfortunately, did not make it to the finals. However, given the exalted levels of competition, we were both very pleased to be the first Sutton Valence team to reach this stage in this competition.”

Fantastic account William, and congratulations to both you and Juliet for your efforts.