30 Apr 2012: National Finalists 2012 announced

Congratulations to this years eight National Finalists who meet this summer to battle for title of 'Debating Matters Champions 2012'

Starting with 192 schools last autumn, just 48 competed in the spring Regional Finals, which have just finished, and we now have the eight schools who’ve won their way to the Debating Matters National Final, taking place from 29 June to 1 July at the Wellcome Collection in central London.

The National Finalists have tackled a wide range of contemporary issues over the past seven months including, amongst others: whether society should use the law to prevent ‘offensive language’; if governments should fund the new biofuels industry; performance enchanging drugs and the spirit of sport; the future of nuclear energy post-Fukushima; and whether other European countries should follow France’s example and ban the burqa. Demonstrating that young people can deal with these issues seriously and with passion and conviction, we’re looking forward to what promises to be a National Final of high quality debates.

Our confirmed National Finalists (in order of Regional Finals held) are:

South East
Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, Rochester

London & South
Graveney School, London

North East & Yorkshire
Beckfoot School, Bradford

Scotland & Northern Ireland
Bearsden Academy, Bearsden

West & South Wales
St. Mary Redcliffe & Temple School, Bristol

Wath Comprehensive School, Rotherham

North West & North Wales
Winstanley College, Wigan

Queens’ School, Bushey

Find out what some of the competition’s judges have said about their experience of taking part in Debating Matters this spring, and of the debates they heard and the students they met. Renowned Hungarian poet and translator George Szirtes writes of his experience at the East Regional Final in Cambridge in ‘Debatabilites in Cambridge’; Alan Mak from global solicitors Clifford Chance on ‘The kids are alright: the next generation of thought leaders’; and from long-term judge and one of the competition’s supporters, Ralph Leighton, Principal Lecturer in Education at Canterbury Christ Church Universty on the Continuum Education blog.

Congratulations to all eight schools, and especially their competing students and the teachers who support them.

We would like to thank all of our supporters, venue partners and of course the individuals who have taken the time to judge the finals and engage students in some of the issues that really matter in the world today. Particular thanks to: the Wellcome Trust, Hodder Education, the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Statoil, the Economic & Social Research Council and Sanofi Aventis for the commitment they have shown to the competition, and to Cancer Research UK, Canterbury Christ Church University, the Free Word Centre, the Museum of Science & Industry, Newcastle University, the University of Leicester School of Management, the University of Edinburgh and the Universtiy of Bristol for being such fine hosts.


For more information about this years National Final contact Justine Brian by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)l or call 020 7269 9233. Take a look at this springs debate motions and acclaimed Topic Guides to see the issues and ideas Debating Matters competitors are asked to consider.


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