Frankly Speaking 2022

On February 25 2022, we held our annual Frankly Speaking debate competition in collaboration with the US Embassy London and the DAR Walter Hines Page Chapter. We welcomed 24 upper secondary school students from across 12 UK schools to participate.

The teams were challenged to debate motions across a range of topics such as fake news, the Congestion Charge, global tourism and the policing of social media.

The initial heats and semi-finals were held in our historic rooms at Benjamin Franklin House and then all competitors travelled to the US Embassy London for the final. All participating students impressed the judges and engaged in highly intellectual and persuading debates.

The winning school in the Junior category, Years 10 and 11 was St Michael’s Catholic Grammar represented by Lauren Kingswood and Elizabeth Bourn. The individual runner up was Vincent Song from Harrow School and Elizabeth Bourn from St Michael’s Catholic Grammar won the top prize for this category: a tour of the Houses of Parliament with the Rt Hon. Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE – made possible with support from the DAR.

The winning team in the Senior category, Years 12 and 13 was Swakeley’s School for Girls represented by Batool Malik and Sehba Basra. The individual runner up was Sehba Basra and the winner was Batool Malik both from Swakeley’s School for Girls. Batool Malik is nominated to join students from across Europe and the United States at the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute at Purdue University in Indiana to explore American culture and politics, while learning about the opportunities and challenges of civil society.

We’d like to thank all the schools for their participation and support, we are already looking forward to the 2023 competition!