Bede’s Pupil Wins Wealden Schools Debating Competition


Chris Dowling, Isabelle Wilson, Ian Davis, Nusrat Ghani and Piers Nathan.


Congratulations to Lower Sixth Deis House student Piers Nathan who, along with his debating partner Isabella Wilson from Uckfield Community College, won the Wealden School's Debating competition last week.

This is the second year where Bede's has won the competition, with last year's victorious debaters being 2013 leaver Zach Khan and his partner Tom Conlon of Uplands Community College.

Hosted in the Bede's Recital Room and featuring pupils from Uckfield Community and Technology College, Michael Hall School, Hailsham Community College and Bede's, this year's competition was judged by Member of Parliament for Wealden Charles Hendry, East Sussex County Councillor Chris Dowling and Uckfield Mayor and Councillor Ian Smith.


Charles Hendry MP announcing the winners.

For those who have never attended, the annual Wealden Schools Debating Competition takes place over two weeks and sees eight teams competing during the first week, with four making it through to the semi-finals and final which this year took place on Friday March 7.

The 2014 competitors debated challenging subjects including immigration; prisoners' rights; religion; EU membership; fracking; and a final debate on whether democracy or sanctions are better for resolving international conflicts.

Both rounds of the competition saw strong audiences comprised of students from each of the 8 schools involved, many of whom were quick to challenge the debaters when questions were opened to the floor.

Councillor Chris Dowling, a member of the judging panel on both weeks, commented, "I was very impressed by the quality of the debates and high standard of research and preparation that went in to presenting the arguments. The results were very close. Congratulations to all involved."


Prospective Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani speaking to the packed Recital Room.

After a third successful year judging the competition, Charles Hendry said, "I look forward to welcoming Piers and Isabella to Parliament for their winner's tour and lunch, which they thoroughly deserve after such a touch competition."

He continued, "Each debate was close, with the students demonstrating a high standard of research and debate for each motion, making it difficult for the judging panel to pick the overall winning team. The talent that we have seen amongst the students has been exceptional, with strong debates throughout."

Each year, Mr Hendry said, the standard gets higher, which makes the competition all the more exciting.