In or out? saltash.net students shake it all about

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in News | No Comments

Students at saltash.net this week held their own version of the ‘EU: in or out?’ debate, on the afternoon of the national radio debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage.

Five A Level Politics students formed themselves into two teams, with Lily, Dave and Joe arguing that Britain should stay in, and Owen and Lewis arguing that Britain is better off out. After opening statements the debate was opened up to questions and comments from the audience of other sixth formers, and younger students at the school.

The debate covered a range of issues including jobs, sovereignty, climate change, national identity and sports, exploring all of the pros and cons of staying in or getting out. The audience took a vote both before and after the debate, which was chaired by the school’s Head of Politics, Adam Killeya.

Mr Killeya said, ‘I have witnessed many discussions about the EU and can honestly say that this was the most coherent and detailed debate on the subject that I have ever heard – the level of preparation and the quality of argument from both sides were first class. I can only hope that the Clegg-Farage debates are half as reasoned and informative.’

The audience vote revealed a clear but not overwhelming majority for ‘in’ both before and after the debate, but the major change was that by the end there was virtually no ‘don’t knows’ – those having split roughly evenly between the two sides. Politics teacher, Emma Metters, commented, ‘It shows the quality and balance of the debate that both sides managed to convince people, and less people came out unsure than went in.’

Ryan, who was in the audience, said, “It was a great opportunity to discuss real world issues out of the classroom and to hear both sides of the debate.”

Joe, who took part in the debate, said, ‘It was a fun experience which helped improve my public speaking skills. Doing the research also increased my understanding of the issues and broadened my views.”

Photos:
2: Chairman & Head of Politics Adam Killeya introduces the debate
7: The ‘in’ side makes it cases
21: An attentive audience
28: The teams – left to right Owen & Lewis (Out); Mr Killeya (Chairman); Joe, Lily and Dave (In)
30: A handshake after the debate