Editor's comment

20th July 2007 at 01:00
To reinforce the many plaudits which have come the way of Scotland's champion school debaters (p8), we are delighted to add our own modest congratulations. Too often we feel the need to overstate our national triumphs simply because the opportunities do not come along that often whether it be the Murray brothers on the tennis court or Colin Montgomerie's occasional golfing wins or the Scotland football team's resurgent form.

But, despite the tiny base from which school debating has to launch itself in Scotland, our record in the world championships is more remarkable than that in many of those other fields: this is the third win and Scottish pupils have been runners-up five times. Although there has been a strong debating tradition in Scottish schools, the infrastructure is not well- supported, as our report this week shows.

The fact that the team had to draw so heavily on pupils from the independent sector should be a warning to state schools. It should also send a signal to politicians that more must be done to reinforce debating in schools: after all, it is something that nurtures the seed corn of their own profession. Talent ought to be encouraged, wherever it manifests itself and especially when that is on the world stage.

Analysing facts and marshalling arguments in public are also skills to which the Scottish Executive should be committed. It is clear from Team Scotland's success that the pupils' debating qualities fit perfectly with official policy turning them into successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now