This half term, a team of three Year 11 debating students took place in the first heat of the English Speaking Union’s ‘School’s Mace’ debating competition. The ‘mace’ is one of the country’s most prestigious and well contested debating competitions, showcasing talented young debaters from a huge range of different schools. Proposing the motion that “this House Believes that government economic policy should prioritise the collective happiness and well-being of the population over economic growth”, the AGGS team comprising of Susanna C, Lauren F and Gowri A triumphed over a very well prepared Loreto Grammar opposition to advance to the next stage of the competition – regional finals! All three students spoke passionately and articulately to state the case for an economic policy centred on happiness and well-being, and did so in a digital environment for the first time, with the debates having been moved to zoom for this year’s competition.
It is also of great credit to the culture of debating established at AGGS that we were able to field two ‘swing teams’ at the last moment. Four students stepped in to debate in place of schools who had withdrawn their teams only days before! A team of Katie and Tilly Y debated Altrincham Grammar School for Boys on a motion to ban names of educational institutions in job applications, whilst a team of Sienna W and Chloe M debated an experienced team from Withington Girl’s School on the motion of introducing quotas for women on company boards. To step into a debate at the last moment and provide a challenging, robust opposition is a considerable accomplishment, and every student representing AGGS in the competition did themselves and the school proud!
In regional finals, which will take place on Thursday 25th February over zoom, AGGS will be debating Birkenhead School, opposing the motion that “national health decisions should be made by a panel of scientific experts rather than government”. This promises to be a vibrant and challenging debate, but one Susanna, Lauren and Gowri are very much looking forward to! In the meantime, we are hoping to get back into classrooms soon to continue our weekly Friday debates in person. Debating is thriving at AGGS and we hope to be writing of further successes in the very near future!