Thirsk School’s outstanding debating team one step away from national final

Thirsk School and Sixth Form College students Aidan Tulloch and Louis Benoit. They qualified for the regional debating finals.
Thirsk School and Sixth Form College students Aidan Tulloch and Louis Benoit. They qualified for the regional debating finals.

Thirsk School and Sixth Form College’s newly established debating team are through to the penultimate round of a prestigious national competition.

Following their debate against Newcastle Royal Grammar School, the team of two Year 12 students, Louis Benoit and Aidan Tulloch, has qualified for the regional finals in the English Speaking Union’s Schools Mace competition.

The competition is the oldest and largest debating competition for schools in the United Kingdom, having been won in recent years by public schools such as Dulwich College, Eton College, St Paul’s School, and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys and School.

Arguing over the merits of all female short lists in parliamentary constituencies, Aidan and Louis showed an extraordinary depth of research and understanding, and were praised by the judges for their comprehensive rebuttal of the opposition’s points and ideas.

This is the first time in recent years the college has entered a debating competition and the team is now ranked among the top 25% of debating societies in the country.

Assistant head Mr Hollis, who has helped the students prepare for the competition, said: “Both Louis and Aidan showed the high level of intellectual calibre and incisive evaluation that the sixth form college looks for in all of its students. They were simply outstanding and deserve huge praise for their hard work.”