On Friday 23rd February 2018, eight local schools battled it out for the 7th Watford Inter-School Debating Cup, organised by Richard Harrington MP.
Teams of students from years 10 to 13 took part from Watford Boys Grammar, Parmiter’s, Bushey Meads, Watford UTC, Kings Langley, Rickmansworth School, St Clement Danes and Queens’ debating topics such as climate change, social media censorship, Donald Trump and whether we should abolish the monarchy.
Richard Harrington, MP for Watford, Oliver Dowden, MP for Hertsmere, and Lord Maurice Glasman chaired the debates which were held in Parliament.
The knock-out competition was judged by an illustrious panel which included Lord Daniel Finkelstein of The Times, Victoria Birch of the Watford Observer, Herts Education Cabinet Member Cllr Terry Douris and Chairman of the Audit Committee at Herts County Council, Frances Button.
In the final, Queens’ and Kings Langley (who took part for the first time this year) debated the motion ‘This House believes that social media sites should be subject to censorship’, with Queens’ arguing for the proposition and Kings Langley opposing it. Queens’ went on to clinch victory in the closely fought debate, winning the trophy, tea in Parliament with the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, and £150 of amazon vouchers.
Speaking about the event Richard Harrington said: “I am always so impressed at the quality of these debates and the effort the students put into the competition, and this year was no exception. I know the judges found it so hard to choose between the finalists as both teams were fantastic. All eight schools did themselves proud today.
This is a real highlight of my year and I’m already looking forward to next years!
I think its so important to engage young people with politics and debating is a great way of gaining confidence and public speaking experience.”
Oliver Dowden MP, who chaired one of the debates, said: ‘Congratulations to Queen’s School Bushey for winning the 2018 Watford Schools Debating Championship in Parliament last week. I had the pleasure of chairing their first match against an excellent team from another one of our local schools, Bushey Meads.’
As runners-up, Kings Langley have also been invited to Parliament to meet the Speaker of the House of Commons, along with Queens’.
This is the fourth time that Queens’ School have been crowned Debating Champions. Last year Watford Boys Grammar won, and the next before that Watford Girls Grammar.