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Rooks Heath College

Rooks Heath College

Opportunity through Learning

Debate Mate 2015

On Thursday 26th March 2015 at the London School of Economics, Rooks Heath College broke through to the national final of the Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup; the flagship competition of the largest debating organisation on the planet: Debate Mate.

On Thursday 26th March 2015 at the London School of Economics, Rooks Heath College broke through to the national final of the Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup; the flagship competition of the largest debating organisation on the planet: Debate Mate. Rooks Heath broke ahead of over seventy other teams representing schools from Greater London, ultimately being crowned champions of the London Debate Mate Cup.

The Debate Mate programme operates in the UK, USA, UAE, Jamaica, Nepal and Rwanda. It follows a policy of only running in non-selective schools, with the aim of improving skills in areas such as leadership, teamwork, confidence, speaking and critical thinking in students aged eleven to fifteen from ordinary, unprivileged backgrounds with the aim of creating the leaders and thinkers of the future, and breaking the well-established mould that positions of power must be held by the privately educated elite.

The format is a variant of parliamentary debating featuring two teams, one representing the government the other representing the opposition. The debate topic is presented as a legislative “motion” to be proposed by the government, and opposed by the opposition. Motions for the cup were: “This house supports eco terrorism”, “This house would ban advertising aimed at children”, “This house would ban non-essential cosmetic surgery” and the politically charged “This house would require people to perform voluntary work in order to receive state benefits”, inspired by the impending general election.

 The final was held in the Old Theatre, where students from Grey Coat Hospital School and Rooks Heath College stood on the same stage as political titans such as Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and current Prime Minister David Cameron. The two schools debated to an audience of several dozen Greater London schools, Rooks Heath College coming out as clear champions based upon a unanimous decision by the judging panel. Rooks Heath College is testament that you don’t have to be educated on the hill or be a member of the aristocracy to seize the opportunities that are available to us all.

Rooks Heath College will be representing Harrow in the national final on a yet to be released day in June of this year.