Sixth Form News - Speak Your Mind DebatePosted on 29/11/2019
This week, the Year 12 cohort had the chance to participate in the annual 'Speak Your Mind' Sixth Form debate. This year’s panel featured Lord Adonis (British Labour Party politician and journalist), Maswood Ahmed (Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain), Chris Dey (Local Conservative Councillor in Enfield), Vicky Gosling (former RAF Group Captain and Invictus Games CEO) and James Tooley, (Professor at the University of Buckingham). The debate was lead by Quintin McKellar, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.
Over the course of two hours, we covered various topics and relevant societal issues such as racism, knife crime and climate change. As a group, we truly lived up to the event’s title & spoke our minds; some issues proved divisive-whether that divide be between individuals or the student body and the panel- whilst others seemingly united the room and reinforced the sense of community that remained present throughout the event despite the fluctuating atmosphere of the debate.
I spoke to some students in order to gain some insight into their perspectives after the event. One said:
“The debate held at St Albans Cathedral was interesting to say the least. It was very intriguing to see the opinions of politicians, university professors and people who are otherwise very influential in a contemporary society. I also think it was refreshing to see that young minds are capable of having important questions, and to see what young people are worried about.”
Another “felt empowered-not by the panel but rather by what the people asking the questions were saying.”
Overall, the debate proved to be an excellent opportunity to shed light on the aforementioned issues currently facing young people and a way for us to gain more knowledge on the specifics of the latter as we strive to combat them.
Thank you to the team at St Albans Cathedral for having us!