Debating Matters to local pupils

A fiery group of pupils from Douglas Academy in Milngavie have made it through to the National Final of the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition next week.

The four debaters - Heather Murray, Laura Nutton, Amritha Sastry, Chrissie Symington - will travel to London with depute headteacher Stephen Sinclair for this three day residential weekend of debate, which is co-hosted by University College London and the Royal Society of Medicine. They triumphed in the Scotland & Northern Ireland Final this spring to qualify and will be taking on the best debaters from 11 schools from across the UK. Debate will take place in front of top name judges such as Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, president of the Royal Society of Medicine and former chairman of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), David Aaronovitch, columnist for The Times, and Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Bureau (BPAS).

Topics up for debate include whether trade not aid is the way to help developing countries, if the British press require tougher regulation after the The Leveson Inquiry, state funding of the art, the UK’s place in the EU, and the provision of IVF treatment for older women.

If they are crowned ‘Champions 2013’ they take home £2000 worth of books for their school from sponsor Hodder Education, exciting prizes for themselves, as well as an all expenses paid trip to London in the autumn to take part in Debating Matters UK v India International Final, competing against this year’s winners of Debating Matters India.