The annual Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament is now in its 23rd year and is the biggest high school debating tournament in Scotland, with 63 schools being represented including 10 schools competing for the first time. This is the second year that it has been held virtually, and with no need for pupils to travel, the selection process for this year’s heats was fully randomised, enabling schools from across Scotland to compete against one another.
Georgia Turnbull, Careers and Outreach Coordinator at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament return for its 23rd consecutive year. The opening nights saw thoughtful and convincing arguments proposed on both sides and it was great to see 10 new schools confidently competing for the first time. Depending on Scottish Government guidelines, we are hoping we may be able to hold a hybrid of virtual and in person debates over the course of the tournament.
“The success of the event is in no small part due to the efforts of our chairpersons; and thanks too to the debate coaches and the judges who had the tough task of deciding which teams made it to round two.”
Lathallan’s team consisted of two S6 pupils, Catriona Hayes and Julia Murrie.
History and Modern Studies teacher, Mr Peter Anderson commented: "They, as a team, showed fortitude, intelligence and confidence, in what was their first foray into debating publicly.
This is Scotland's largest senior school debating competition and thanks to Julia and Catriona, Lathallan is one of 32 schools to go through to the next round."
The second round will take place in January, with further rounds in the spring.
The winning team will win £1,000 for their school and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.