The Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza, chaired the Debate Mate 'Artemis Urban Debate League Final' on Monday 19 May in the House of Lords.
The Lord Speaker announced the opening and closing speakers in the final and gave a short congratulatory speech following the debate.
Debate Mate looks to boost young people's confidence in expressing themselves and the Urban League Debating Final was the climax of a 16-week programme for secondary school children which began in late 2013. Students aged 12-15 from 140 schools competed for a place in the final debate in the Lords. The final debate, hosted in one of the Lords committee rooms, involved eight speakers from two schools:
- Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College from New Cross, South London. They finished fifth in the Urban Debate League and were finalists in the Debate Mate Cup London rounds.
- St Angela's Ursuline School from the Borough of Newham. They entered the Urban Debate League final ranked 15th.
The two teams debated the motion, 'This House would introduce 100% inheritance tax.' There were four speakers on both the proposition and opposition teams, who alternated giving five minute speeches, before the debate was opened up to the floor for questions to be addressed during the summing up speeches. The sides were randomly drawn so the pupils did not decide which side of the motion they were supporting.
After the debate the Lord Speaker congratulated the winners with a short speech and there was be a reception in the House of Lords River Room, which the Lord Speaker makes available for events for charities.
About Debate Mate
Debate Mate runs after school debating clubs in areas of high child poverty with students from the top universities as mentors. They use debating to develop communication, interpersonal skills and to build self-esteem. Over 2,000 young people take part in Debate Mate programmes around the UK every week.
Image: House of Lords 2014 / Photography by Annabel Moeller