Debaters are best in the world

13th July 2007 at 01:00
A colossal achievement" is how the news was described when a team of Scottish pupils became debating champions of the world this week.

The group of five saw off competition in the knock-on rounds from the USA, Hong Kong and England. On Wednesday, it was announced that, in a "close but clear" debate on nuclear non- proliferation, they had beaten Singapore to win the World Schools Debating Championship, held in Seoul, South Korea.

Forty nations battle it out each year in "a gruelling series of debates". The Scottish team this year was Stuart Cullen and Callum Jones (George Heriot's School, Edinburgh), Neil Dewar (High School of Dundee), Netan Dogra (Grove Academy, Dundee) and Joanna Farmer (Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen).

John Duncan, director of the English-Speaking Union in Scotland, which promotes debating in Scottish schools, commented: "The five members of the team and the two coaches have trained incredibly hard for this over the past 10 months. The standard of debate at the championships is the best you can get, so to become world champions is a colossal achievement."

He added: "Their success shows how strong Scottish debating is at the moment, and we are very proud to be associated with the team."

The pupils were coached by two former championship debaters, George Molyneaux, fellow of All Souls, Oxford, and Alex Just, president of the Oxford Union.

Scottish school teams have performed strongly throughout the 16-year history of the championships, having won twice and been runners-up on a number of occasions. This is the first time since 2001 they have reached the final.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today