“Admirable fight” by QE’s debaters in prestigious competition

Four of the school’s top Year 12 debaters took part in a competition run by the Oxford Union – one of the most famous debating organisations in the world.

The Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition brings together pupils from some of the country’s most famous independent schools, including St Paul’s School, St Paul’s Girls’, Dulwich College and Wycombe Abbey.

Academic Enrichment Tutor and Geography teacher Helen Davies said: “Dhruv Kanabar, Ravi Karia, Dillon Shah and Jathieesan Umaasuthan (all Year 12) did an excellent job representing QE. Although they did not progress beyond the initial stages on this occasion, they were up against some stiff competition: our boys put up an admirable fight and made some very interesting contributions to all the debates.”

""The competition involves the British Parliamentary style of debating. In the event at Northolt High School, the motion for the first round was This house believes that the Olympic Games should always be held in London, for which Jathieesan and Ravi made the ‘opening proposition’ (as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister).  “They made some excellent points about the high level of safety in London, about the re-use of the London stadium making it a more economically and environmentally sustainable solution, and about convenience for all involved,” said Miss Davies.

The second-round motion was This house would ban workers in essential state services (e.g. the NHS and public transport) from striking. “Dillon and Dhruv (‘opening opposition’) again presented some excellent counter-arguments to the motion, including the idea that actions speak louder than words and that striking is often necessary to start change.”

""The competition judges included a European Debating Championships finalist and a World Debating Championship semi-finalist; all gave very high-level and valuable feedback to all members of the competition, Miss Davies added.

Reflecting on his participation afterwards, Dhruv said “It was an excellent opportunity to practise our debating skills against students from other schools.  I learnt a lot from the experience and thought that the motions we were presented with were very relevant and thought-provoking.”

Miss Davies concluded: “It was exciting to see our boys holding their own against debaters from some other very prestigious schools.  They all thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as well as learning a great deal from it.  Debates such as these help the boys to develop skills which are widely applicable to a range of future careers.”