Loreto College beat 11 schools from across the UK to win the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters National Final at the Museum of London.

For the National Final  Loreto posed the arguments that autonomous vehicles will make driving safer, and that there should not be tougher regulation on the sharing economy. Winning these two debates put the Loreto teams through to the semi-finals, where Haneen Zeglam and Francesca Sellers beat Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Faversham, by arguing that populism is a threat to democracy. Nichita Matei and Samuel Gibson then triumphed in the final debate against The Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre, Hampshire, arguing that “No Platform” policies do not damage free speech. The judges also picked out Maymunah Malik from Loreto College as Highly Commended individual of the National Final.

Ftan Tattersall, Debating Co-ordinator for the college explained “The National finals come at the end of a long journey, starting last autumn when we won the Cheshire qualifying round, competing against local high schools and Colleges.  Haneen and Maymunah, along with Shreesh Sinha and Nathan Meades, tackled the motions  “Political parties are bad for democracy” and “The constant monitoring of our health does more harm than good”.  At the North West and North Wales Regional Final in March, the teams tackled the issue of water scarcity and fake news on social media to win their group stage.  Fatima Alkali and Francesca then won the regional final by successfully arguing that ‘Plain packaging for tobacco products is a good idea’.  Nathan, Fatima and Shreesh were unable to take part in the final but were a vital part of the team and share our victory!”

Read the Debating Matters twitter feed to see how the weekend unfolded