On Saturday 10 November, the Debating season started with the University of Birmingham Schools competition. Supported by our new sponsors, SME Solicitors, the RGSW Senior Debating Society had four pairs in action – and, once again, reached the final as one of the top four teams.

Four rounds of debating saw success for all teams, with each pair coming first in at least one of their debates: an excellent portent for the year as there are four teams in each debate. The motions were complex and challenging, ranging from the idea that social media should only be used by those older than 21 years old to a motion supporting the trend of recasting traditionally male roles in TV/film as women. As always, the pairs had fifteen minutes to prepare their five-minute speeches – and no internet access was allowed during that time. After the first four rounds the four top-ranked teams, from approximately forty pairs taking part, would progress to a final.

Amber Warner-Warr and Felix Haynes, Upper Sixth, started strongly with a first in their opening debate. Unfortunately, a difficult call in the second debate gave them a fourth. With strong teams from Westminster School, Wellington College and St Paul’s Girls’ School (SPGS), only two firsts in the next two debates would give them a route to the final. They came first in the third round and this was then followed by a tense wait for the call for the fourth debate. The call came – RGS Worcester HW (Felix and Amber) had qualified, victorious against the London schools!

The final was hard-fought over the motion that this house would replace Cabinet Ministers with unelected technocrats. Despite doing an amazing job, Amber and Felix were pipped at the post by Cardiff Sixth Form. The RGSW pair were fourth and fifth best speaker in the competition respectively, with Amber also achieving the highest individual score of any debater in one debate. This is a superb beginning to the season: not only a great performance by RGS Worcester HW but with strong showings from all our debaters.


We are delighted to report that SME solicitors are sponsoring our debating society here at RGS. 

John Pitt, commented, “We are very grateful to SME for sponsoring our debaters again this year. The pupils had their most successful year ever last year, becoming ‘Champions of the West’, winning a national debating competition and qualifying for both the Oxford Union and Cambridge Union Debating Finals’. Debating is such an important skill for the pupils to develop and their ability to think on their feet is really impressive. RGS Worcester is hoping to do even better this year and SME’s support will encourage the students to keep aiming high.”

Pictured are, from Left to Right: Mr L Beecham (Senior Deputy Head of RGS Worcester), Ian Stirzaker (Partner SME Solicitors), Upper Sixth students Felix Haynes and Amber Warner-Warr, Year Ten pupil Elizabeth McCabe.


To read the full Press Release click here SME Sponsors RGSW Debating