17 Jun 2018: Debating Matters Dorset set for Sherborne Girls on 9 November 2018

The Academy of Ideas is delighted to announce its first Dorset Championship on Friday 9 November, in partnership with Sherborne Girls

Debating Matters is pleased to reveal another Championship to be held at Sherborne Girls on Friday 9 November 2018. Twelve schools from Dorset and the surrounding area will have the opportunity to battle it out for the crown of Debating Matters Dorset Champions as they tackle a range of difficult topics over the course of a rigorous day of debate.

Sherborne Girls is an independent day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18. Located in Sherborne, North Dorset, England. With its origins dating back to 1899, Sherborne Girls has grown in to one of the finest schools in the country which aims to deliver the highest standard of boarding provision through exceptional facilities, resources, care, and experiences.

Louise Troup, Head of English at Sherborne Girls said of the Championship:

“There are many skills that we hope to impart to our pupils during their time at Sherborne Girls. We hope, for example, to make them confident thinkers, people who can defend their ideas but show humility when presented with the ideas of others.  We hope to make them verbally dextrous, capable of expressing themselves with economy and élan. And we hope to give them an appreciation of the power of intellect to shape the world and make a positive difference.  We are therefore delighted to be hosting the Debating Matters Dorset Championship and to welcome students from across Dorset, in independent and state schools, together for a debate that is judged by leading figures in the media, law, commerce, academia and industry.  Through initiatives like this, I hope we encourage students to be intellectually flexible, and able to engage with the complex mores of the contemporary world.”

Claire Fox, director of the Academy of Ideas, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to bring Debating Matters to Dorset. A big thanks must be extended to our partners and hosts Sherborne Girls for generously opening their doors to students from across the county. We can’t wait for the debates to unfold.”

If you are a school or college and you would like to take part, please register interest ASAP as places are limited. Email Bernie Whelan at for all the details and an entry form. You can also contact Bernie with any other queries you have in relation to the event.


Thursday 27 June:
Oxfordshire Championship at Oxford Union, in partnership with Magdalen College School and Oxford Festival of Arts

Friday 5 July:
North East Championship at Durham Sixth Form Centre


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


Bernie Whelan, our DM coordinator, is raising money for Debating Matters. To stage one of our Championships for six to 12 teams costs £6,000. Find out more on Bernie’s Wonderful fundraising page.


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