Debating Matters at Royal Armouries Museum thanks to Leeds Salon

Thursday 16 November, the first Royal Armouries Sixth-Form Debating Competition will take place, in partnership with The Leeds Salon, with a view to it becoming a regular annual event.

Abbey Grange Academy, Notre Dame Sixth-Form College and Grammar School at Leeds will compete against each other in a round-robin format debating corporate arts sponsorship, whether there’s too many people going to university and whether museums should repatriate cultural artefacts to see who will be the first Royal Armouries Museum Leeds champion.

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Taking debate Beyond Bars  

Debating Matters completed an exciting and uplifting project with prisoners of HMP Bronzefield 

Debating Matters Beyond Bars returned in August. We ran a project at HMP Bronzefield, the biggest women’s prison in the UK, which demonstrated that the rigorous, well-researched and impassioned debate known to all those who take part in the competition is at home as much in prisons as it is in schools.  

Using a selection of the Debating Matters Topic Guides, the prisoners conducted extensive research and training into the debates selected for the competition. Being asked to consider important debates happening in the worlds of politics, science, art and culture, they gained a valuable sense of perspective, and learned important skills in engaging in civil debate.  

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Aylesbury Grammar School wins the Debating Matters London Championship 2023!

Students from six UK schools gathered in the iconic Grade I listed building, 55 Broadway, in heart of Westminster on Thursday 6 July to compete in the Debating Matters London Championship 2023.

Free Speech was the theme of the Debating Matters London Champions 2023 as six schools from across London and the Home Counties came together at the iconic Grade I listed building of 55 Broadway. Co-hosted with Blue Orchid Hospitality the championship took place on Thursday 6 July this year. Students debated a range of topics focused on 21st Century issues surrounding free speech and open debate. Aylesbury Grammar SchoolHarris Academy ChobhamCardinal Newman Catholic SchoolThe Grey Coat HospitalOundle School and Richmond upon Thames College took part in a series of high-quality debates throughout the day. Judges from a range of sectors including Law & Politics, Art & the Media, Health, Sport and Education asked a series of pertinent questions of the students and pushed them to find their best argument.

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Cancel culture comes for debate in schools

While school pupils are being admonished for ‘wrong-think’, Debating Matters provides a vital corrective: free, open and frank debate.

This news item was originally written as a guest post for the Academy of Ideas substack.

Earlier this year, when Debating Matters launched the 20 for 20 programme to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the idea was to raise our profile, post-Covid, after a sustained period in which school debate had been severely restricted. We are now in full swing, having delivered 10 out of the 20 events so far.

Schools debating is precious and worth supporting. In the USA, however, it is under threat from cancel culture – and we cannot let that happen here.

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Durham Union Society to host the Debating Matters Durham Championship 2023

On Thursday 8 June Durham Union Society will play host to the Debating Matters Durham Championship 2023. Students from North East schools will come together for a day of intense but thrilling debate as they take on issues such as, “Billionaires owning media companies is bad for democracy” and “Cancel Culture is a threat to freedom of speech”.

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The Burgate School wins the Debating Matters House of Lords Championship 2023!

Students from four UK schools gathered in the heart of Westminster on Friday 10 March to compete in the Debating Matters House of Lords Championship 2023. And what an inspiring day of debate it was!

Images © House of Lords 2023 / photography by Roger Harris.

The Burgate School took on competitors from three other schools and faced tough questions from judges and audience members to emerge as winners of the DM House of Lords Championship. 

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Debating Matters 20 for 20

Debating Matters is 20 years old – we celebrated with 20 events in 2023!

December 2022 marked the twentieth anniversary of Debating Matters. Since our inception, we’ve hosted sixth-form debating competitions across the UK, in Europe and beyond! We’ve worked in a range of different settings, including Debating Matters Beyond Bars in prisons. Our acclaimed Topic Guides continue to be widely used as a teaching resource around the world.

We held 20 events and initiatives over the next year to mark the occasion. Read on to hear about what we were busy with in our special, celebratory year.

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Inspired by Debating Matters

From Gujurat to Leeds… DM has been inspiring young people around the globe!

Debating Matters’ reach has extended further than Europe in the last two years. In 2020, former director of DM and current curriculum manager for Mathematics at MidKent College, Tony Gilland, developed a highly successful new pilot debating tournament – DMGBIN – for 16- to 18-year- old students in India and the UK which was inspired by his work at Debating Matters.

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Sabine Beppler-Spahl: on launching Debating Matters in Berlin

As Debating Matters returns from yet another fantastic championship in Berlin, we asked our lead German partner, Sabine Beppler-Spahl, what inspired her to bring the championship to Berlin.

“As chair of the Freiblickinstitute, whose purpose is to organise public discussion on political and scientific issues, I felt the chance to host Debating Matters in Berlin was an opportunity not to be missed! Although Britain has a long tradition of schools debates, in Germany debating societies are not as well established.  But there is taste for serious, content-based debating in this country too!

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