Oxford Schools Debate

Birmingham A43

In February of this year, MPW had the privilege of hosting the West Midlands round of the prestigious Oxford schools debating competition – the largest parliamentary style competition in the UK! The competition keeps debaters on their toes as the motions are announced just fifteen minutes prior to the start of the debates - with no internet or phones competitors must use their knowledge of current affairs to effectively tackle the motion at hand, taking on the role of Government or opposition in a style that would not be out of place in the House of Commons.

Upon arrival, all the schools congregated in the college’s study centre and common room and it was fantastic to see so many MPW staff and students acting as tour guides and being extremely hospitable to the visiting teams. Once the motions were announced, it was preparation time and there was an air of excitement as teams filled cue cards with key points. MPW’s own team, comprised of Ursula Langley and Rosemond Tan performed exceptionally well in the debates – demonstrating their ability to keep cool under pressure and make extremely well thought out points.

The opportunity to participate and host this event was invaluable for MPW and allowed us to build on our previous competitive debating experiences such as taking part in the English Speaking Union. The chance it gave our students to effectively work on key debating skills such as rebuttal will certainly serve us in good stead for the next major event of the year, Haileybury Model United Nations – where a team of 12 debaters will be representing USA and the Yemen.