Students take part in debating competition in Wealden

Debating competition, St Bedes Piers Nathan, Isaballa Wilson
Debating competition, St Bedes Piers Nathan, Isaballa Wilson
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A student from an Upper Dicker school has been crowned joint winner of a debating competition.

Piers Nathan from Bede’s Senior School and Isabella Wilson from Uckfield Community and Technology College were the winners of this year’s Wealden Schools’ Debating Competition, established by Wealden MP, Charles Hendry.

The final took place at Bede’s School in Upper Dicker, with teams of sixth form students from Uckfield Community and Technology College, Bede’s Senior School, Michael Hall (Forest Row) and Hailsham Community College.

Maddie Pengelly from Michael Hall, and Thomas Chicken from Hailsham Community College took second place.

The competition took place over two weeks, where eight teams competed during the first week, with four making it through to the semi-finals and final.

This year the competitors debated challenging and difficult subjects which covered immigration, prisoners rights, religion, EU membership, fracking, and a final debate on whether democracy or sanctions are better for resolving international conflicts.

The judging panel included Charles Hendry MP, East Sussex County Councillor Chris Dowling, Uckfield Mayor Councillor Ian Smith and Nusrat Ghani the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.

The debate took place in front of an audience, comprised of students from each of the eight schools involved, who were quick to challenge the debaters when questions were opened to the floor.

Cllr Dowling, said: “I was very impressed by the quality of the debates, and high standard of research and preparation that went in to presenting their arguments.

“The results were very close, congratulations to all involved. A very worthwhile competition and time well spent.”

MP 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 tough competition.

“The talent that we have seen amongst the students has been exceptional, with strong debates throughout. Each year the standard gets higher, which makes this competition all the more exciting. Next year will be my last year for hosting the debate, but I hope it is something that the schools will look to continue in the future.”