Praise for trio’s debating skills at Barnet event

Queen Elizabeth’s School students have drawn plaudits for their contribution to a civic event held as part of National Inter Faith Week.

Year 12 boys Adeel Haque, Henry Peto and Harish Karunalingam took part in the Question Time-style debate with pupils from three other schools, Ashmole Academy, St Mary’s High School and JFS. They discussed questions about the role of faith in society at large and also within schools.

The debate was chaired by Father John Hawkins, of St John’s C of E Church in Barnet. He subsequently wrote to QE Deputy Head, Neil Enright: “It was my privilege to chair the evening and your students shone and did themselves and QE […] proud.

“At the end, the Superintendent of Barnet police, Mr [Neil] Basu, came up to speak with me and said that he had been in meetings all day with senior police men and women and the level of debate this evening far outshone anything he had heard all day. Indeed he had hoped to slip off home after his own contribution, but had remained to the end of the evening because he was so riveted by the students’ debate.”

The event was attended by the Mayor of Barnet and by several faith leaders. It also featured entertainment from the Jewish Care choir.

“It was extremely good to get to grips with the role of the inter-faith concept in schools and to learn about the opinions of others,” said Henry. His fellow debater, Adeel, added: “The event was an extremely enriching experience and one that widened my perspective on the role that faith has to play in our modern society.”