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The Great Debate

by Press Officer on 28 March, 2013

Debating teams from two schools will be battling it out to be crowned champions of a West Sussex debating competition next month.

Students from Bishop Luffa School and Angmering School will contest the grand final of the West Sussex Schools Debating Association competition on Tuesday, April 16.

Three motions – ‘Youth councils aren’t important’, ‘Competitive boxing shouldn’t be taught in schools’ and ‘Social networking sites go too far’ – will be up for discussion at the event, which will be held at County Hall in Chichester.

The teams will be comprised of students aged between 14-16 years.

Eight schools took part in the knock-out style tournament, which is supported by the County Council’s Voice and Engagement team – part of the Youth Support and Development Service

Certificates will be presented to participants, while the best individual debater will be awarded with the Shirley Robinson-Viney Salver.

The winning school will receive the Southern Rail School Challenge Cup.

Former Chichester High School student, Tom Rusbridge – now studying History at Kings College London – organised the competition having been inspired after participating in smaller scale debates when he was in sixth form.

Tom said: “I’m expecting great things from our final two teams.

“From the start the standard of debate has been really good – far higher than I could have hoped for. I thought all the teams would do well, but I couldn’t have predicted the standard would be so high.

“Throughout the rounds, there have been some challenging subjects on the table for them to debate and I have been really impressed by how they tackled them.

“The motions in the final are tough – we have purposely gone for subjects that don’t appear prominently on debating websites. This means the students will have to research their arguments and really think around each topic.

“I think we will be hearing some well-constructed arguments – it will be a great end to this year’s competition.”

Pandora Ellis, Countywide Manager of Voice and Engagement for the Youth Support and Development Service, added:

“I have been really pleased with how the competition has been received.

“The schools involved have given us consistently good feedback, which is very encouraging.

“The competition so far has been very engaging and impressive and I am sure the final will be an interesting – and lively – occasion.”

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