Upper School Debating Society

Wednesday 18 November

“This house believes that pensioners should no longer be allowed access to NHS free health care.”

Izzy spoke in favour of the motion with Max against.

The Debating Society convened to discuss the radical motion: “This house believes that pensioners should no longer be allowed access to NHS free health care.” All but one of the audience were initially repulsed by the idea, but Izzy's subtle arguments won a few over to some version of it. Max opposed with sound economic facts and plenty of comparative data. The motion was defeated, but only by the narrowest of margins. Pensioners beware!

Wednesday 11 November

“This house believes that government representatives should resign if they have acted immorally.”

Freya spoke in favour of the motion with Hal against.

Most of the audience agreed with Freya at the start of the debate that they should. However, Hal's case that “immoral” was a subjective word and that moral standards were applied inconsistently throughout history and in varied spheres of activity won many round to his view. There were many excellent questions and the debate became emotionally charged at times. In the end, the motion was carried, but by only one vote!

Wednesday 07 October

“This house believes that caffeine should be classed as an illegal recreational drug in the UK.”

Eloise spoke in favour of the motion with Wilbur against.

In devastating news for the school’s tea and coffee lovers, the senior debating society passed this week’s motion, almost unanimously. In a spectacular reversal, Eloise persuaded an initially sceptical audience that “This house believes that caffeine should be classed as an illegal recreational drug in the UK.” Wilbur fought passionately on behalf of the nation’s caffeine addicts, but Eloise’s command of the facts was not to be overcome. An anxious chair asked how to overcome his own addiction to caffeine: cold turkey.

Wednesday 23 September

“This house believes that the UK government’s lockdown procedures during Covid-19 were largely ineffective.”

Izzy spoke in favour of the motion with Reuben against.

On Wednesday 23rd September, the debating society met for the first time this year. Strong arguments were expressed on both sides, and questions concerning comparisons to other nations and the purpose of lockdowns were examined in detail. In the end, the house voted in favour of the motion, and in opposition to the government’s procedures.

Tuesday 10 March

“This house believes that petrol and diesel cars should be banned from British roads.”

Hal spoke in favour of the motion with Max against.

Hal’s argument, that 2035 is too late to start changing the nature of the cars on British roads was supported by plenty of facts about the harmful impact of emissions, and an optimistic outlook about the ability of car manufacturers to bring down costs. Max proved more persuasive to the audience, questioning the cost, environmental impact and practicality of too rapid a shift. In the end, only one voter supported the motion, which was hence soundly defeated.

Wednesday 12 February

“This house believes that university education should be free in the UK.”

Lara spoke in favour of the motion and Jack defended the current position.

Lara and Jack debated the knotty problem of university finance. Lara, our first fifth form speaker this year, spoke in favour of the motion. Her arguments were based in thorough research and took a very broad view of the issue. She responded to some tricky questions calmly and clearly and was able to persuade her audience to her point of view. The motion was carried.

Wednesday 15 January

“This house believes that the school should only serve vegetarian food.”

Caitlin spoke in favour of the change and Pippy defended the School’s current position.

The debate was well attended and Caitlin’s well-organised and consistent arguments changed minds in the room. The motion was passed by a margin a six votes. The School kitchen will, however, continue to serve meat.