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ESU Schools’ Mace Debating Competition

ESU Schools’ Mace Debating Competition
Karen Smith

Canfordians take part virtually in ESU Schools’ Mace Debating Competition

On the evening of Thursday 14th January, a team from Canford School competed online in the ESU Schools’ Mace  This is the oldest and largest debating competition for schools in the country.  Arian, Rupert and Leo opposed the motion This House would ban job applicants from disclosing the names of educational institutions that they have attended’.  The Canford team dealt with the new ‘virtual’ format effectively giving impassioned speeches and setting out a coherent case that if passed this motion would in fact undermine what it set out to achieve, the removal of inequality for the disadvantaged. The competition is marked for four categories: reasoning and evidence; organisation and prioritisation; listening and response; and expression and delivery. Despite not making it into the top two teams going through to the next round, the Canford team scored highly in all areas.

A special mention must also go to the swing team: Magnus, Charlie and Sophia who stepped up at the last minute to enable the debate on whether This House would introduce quotas for women on company boards’ to go ahead. Magnus led the team in an impressive performance where they outlined how damaging and limiting quotas could be for the development of organisations and equality more generally.

Head of English Richard Redwood commented:

“This was the first time Canford has entered the competition and an excellent evening was had by all.  The pupils handled the virtual format extremely professionally and should be very proud of their performances.  We will certainly be entering again next year.  We are now looking forward to our own ‘virtual’ inter house debating competition which will take place on Friday 5th February.”