03 Jul 2017: Loreto College win Debating Matters 2017

Loreto College beat 11 schools from across the UK to win the Academy of Ideas Debating Matters National Final at the Museum of London.

Loreto prepared for over a month for the weekend and posed the arguments that autonomous vehicles will make driving safer and that there should not be tougher regulation on the sharing economy to make the semi-finals. In the semi-final Haneen Zeglam and Francesca Sellers beat Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Faversham, by arguing that populism is a threat to democracy. Nichita Matei and Samuel Gibson then triumphed in the final debate against The Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre, Hampshire, arguing that No Platform policies do not damage free speech. The judges also picked out Maymunah Malik from Loreto College as Highly Commended individual of the National Final.

Loreto College
From top left to bottom right: teachers Bettina Woodroffe and Fran Tattersall, students Samuel Gibson, Nichita Matei, Katie Swann, Maymunah Malik, Haneen Zeglam, Francesca Sellers

Olivia Beatson from The Burgate School was crowned Best Individual due to her exemplary performance throughout the weekend, and intelligent questions from the audience.

Teacher and debate coach Fran Tattersall said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the result and I’m exceptionally proud of my students. We’ve competed in the competition for nine years and have never made the final. It feels like a dream!”

Well done to all our schools and winners over the weekend:

Winners: Loreto College
Runners-Up: The Burgate School and Sixth Form College
Semi-Finalists: Wymondham College and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
Best Individual: Olivia Beatson, The Burgate School and Sixth Form College
Highly Commended: Maymunah Malik, Loreto College
Commended: Aleisha Stansfield, Gosforth Academy
Gina Owens Prize: Rowena Cantley, The Royal School, Armagh
Honourable Mentions: Max McManus (Invicta Grammar School), Frances Whittaker (Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School), Tom Musgrove (Wymondham College), Aurelio Petrucci (Gosforth Academy), Tom Lansdale (The Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre), Haneen Zeglam (Loreto College), Gregory Walker (Ravensbourne School), Michael Eaglestone (Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School), Torin Brown (Cirencester College)

We would like to thank all of our schools for competing in this year’s competition, all of our judges, sponsors and partners, competition alumni and, of course, the teachers that make this happen!


For more information, please contact Nadia Butt.


Wednesday 13 February:
Kent Championship at MidKent College

Thursday 28 February:
Berlin Championship at University of Applied Sciences Europe


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


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