On February 24 2023, we held our annual Frankly Speaking debate competition in collaboration with the US Embassy London and the DAR Walter Hines Page Chapter. We welcomed over 40 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, social media, environmentalism and the carbon footprints of celebrities.
For the first time, the entire competition was held at the US Embassy building in Nine Elms, London. Competitors had a marvellous opportunity to debate in rooms throughout this impressive building and were able to explore the Embassy on guided tours between debates. All participating students impressed the judges and engaged in highly intellectual and persuading debates.
In addition to student debaters, this year’s competition marked the first time that the entire competition was chaired by student invigilators. Students from across the participating schools stepped up to help coordinate the competition and proved valuable assets in the smooth running of the day.
The winning school in the Junior category, Years 10 and 11 was The Grey Coat Hospital represented by Princetta Rachel and Nafeeah Kamal. The individual runner up was Nafeeah Kamal whilst the individual winner was Princetta Rachel, both from The Grey Coat Hospital. The top prize for this competition is an exciting 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 Whitmore School represented by Giuliana Tritto and Karishma Sajili Sharma. The individual runner up was Rohan Apte from Eltham College and the winner was Giuliana Tritto from Whitmore School. Giuliana Tritto 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 2024 competition!