To coincide with our focus week celebrating International Abolition of Slavery Day, Sixth Form House teams debated the question: ‘Should universities founded on the profits of slavery pay out reparations ?’

Teams presented opening and closing statements in support of their arguments. During the middle segment of the debate they were able to challenge the points made by the opposing team and make counter-arguments.

The external judges were school governors Nina Worrall, Jane Mackenzie and Michelle Painter, with librarian Helena Cresswell serving as moderator. Teams earned points based on making solid, supported arguments and rebutting the opposing arguments. Marks could be lost for interrupting or repeating a previously made point.

The final results were:

1st Place: Darwin with 61 points
2nd Place: Garrick with 60 points
3rd Place: Seward with 46 points
4th Place: Johnson with 43 points

There were some very strong individual performances so it was a difficult decision to choose the most valuable debaters. However our external judges ultimately chose Lewis Duvall (Darwin) and Lucy Allen (Garrick) as ‘Most Valuable Debaters’ for their strong contributions.

Other student participants were Noah Rhodes, Jack Farnworth, Astrid Welfare, Holly Fry, Bella Lopes, Connor Lewis, Harvey Le Voi, Jade Athwal, Anna Cooper, Sophie Briggs, Abi Costiff, Oli Barnard and George Armstrong.

Mark Drury, Assistant Headteacher, said: “Making a coherent argument based on evidence and research is an important skill. Slavery’s legacy and the issue of reparations gave our students opportunity to debate a key question facing society and it was great to hear them discussing history, discrimination and different concepts of what responsibility means.”