Students shine in debating competition

Debating Matters Yorkshire Regional Final

The students prior to the Yorkshire Regional Final of Debating Matters

Barnsley Sixth Form College students have displayed their debating skills in the regional final of a national competition.

Six students represented the Sixth Form in the Yorkshire Regional Final of Debating Matters at The Hepworth art gallery in Wakefield.

Joe Sheldon and Lauryn Healey defeated students from Abbey Grange Academy in Leeds in a debate entitled ‘There should be tougher regulation of the sharing economy’. Adam Calvert and William Simister were then pipped by students from Hymers College in East Yorkshire when arguing for the motion ‘The constant monitoring of our health does more harm than good’.

At this point, all of the three schools and colleges in the group had each won one debate, creating a three-way tie. The judges put the Sixth Form through to the final as the winner of the group based on overall performance throughout the day.

In the final, Nathan Phipp-Macintyre and Holly Moffatt were debating against the motion ‘Trigger warnings stifle debate’ but finished runners-up to Allerton High School in West Yorkshire. The judges’ feedback suggested that it was a close call in deciding the winner and former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett was on hand to give the Sixth Form students some advice for their future debates.

Nathan said: “It was a really interesting experience and I enjoyed the debate topics. It was good to meet other students and compete against them.”

Nathan won a go-karting experience as the Commended Individual and Lauryn received an honourable mention from one of the judging panel. All the team members also won family tickets to the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds.