11 Jul 2018: Range High School triumph at first Salford Debating Matters Championship

Outstanding day of debate at event made possible by partnerships between Salford’s thriving public, private and arts sectors

Congratulations to Range High School who were crowned the inaugural 2018 champions of Debating Matters Salford, triumphing over University Technical College Bolton in the final debate, ‘Cultural appropriation should be welcomed not feared’.

The freshmen Debating Matters competitors argued compellingly throughout the day and were rewarded with the first-ever Debating Matters Salford Champions trophy. Along with University Technical College Bolton, Range High School progressed through the group stages where competitors tackled topics such as: ‘Social media sites should filter out fake news stories’, ‘Humanity should fear advances in artificial intelligence’ and ‘We should build HS2’.

These two schools won their respective groups, beating Blue Coat School, Oldham, Loreto College, Pendleton Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College. Pupils from these schools put the two finalists under serious pressure in the final debate, with a series of excellent points from the floor.

The competitors received words of inspiration and encouragement from Dave Spicer, dean of the Salford Business School, who awarded the coveted ‘Best Individual’ prize to Sam Shiels, and Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, who awarded the Champions and Runners-up prizes to Range High School and University Technical College Bolton respectively.

In his address to the students, Mayor Paul Dennett highlighted the importance of robust public debate for the future of the City of Salford and public life more broadly, saying: ‘Too often debate seen as only for politicians. Debating Matters demonstrates how it can belong to us all.’

In announcing the judges’ decision in the final debate, this sentiment was echoed by Tim Heatley, co-founder of property development firm Capital & Centric, who helped support the Championship. Tim noted how key debating skills - such as grit, determination and the ability to ‘think big’ - are highly sought-after skills in the wider world.

Debating Matters would like to extend a special thanks to the Salford Championship hosts, The Lowry, for their generous hospitality and involvement in the competition; to Salford City Council, for their support, encouragement, and deep involvement throughout the day; to Capital & Centric, for generous support of the competition; and the University of Salford, for their partnership in bringing Debating Matters to Salford.

Debating Matters would also like to extend thanks to all the competing schools and their teachers.

Importantly, a big thanks to all the individual and panel judges who gave up their time to quiz and judge the teams on the day.


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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