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Scottish pupils to debate ‘harmful’ internet in national competition

12 November 2015 | tagged News release

Pupils from schools across Scotland are getting ready to debate the pros and cons of the internet in the opening rounds of the Law Society of Scotland’s annual debating tournament.

The Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament will see 128 teams from 102 Scottish schools put their powers of persuasion to the test when they debate the motion ‘This House believes that the internet does more harm than good’. Now in its 16th year, the competition is the biggest school debating tournament in Scotland and 14 more schools have entered for the first time this year.

Laura Gulliver, Careers and Outreach Manager at the Law Society, said: “It’s great to see so many schools entering teams in tournament and we’re delighted to have 14 schools taking part for the first time.”

“The internet is an amazing resource – from finding out about just about anything there is to know, doing shopping or booking a holiday - but of course there are issues around security and online criminal activity. We’ve set our teams a challenge by asking if the internet is harmful and I’m looking forward to hearing the arguments they put forward.

“Debating is a great skill to have which as well as being good fun. Many schools now have debating clubs and they really encourage pupils to learn how to build convincing arguments and give them a voice to express their views and opinions.

“The June final in the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber was an exciting finish to the last tournament, with superb performances from some very talented young people, some who had entered the competition for the first time, as they debated whether the media should restrict coverage of terrorist attacks.”

The Law Society awards the first prize of £1,000 and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.

The opening rounds take place on will take place on 19, 25 November and 3 December. Further information about the tournament can be found at www.lawscot.org.uk/debating or contact debate@lawscot.org.uk.

The 2013/14 winners and runners up are featured in a Law Society video about the tournament which is available to watch online: www.lawscot.org.uk/debating.

All schools participating in the opening heats are listed below:

Schools from across Scotland will take part in this year’s debating tournament. Schools taking part for the first time are marked *

Name of School

Town

Albyn School

Aberdeen

Alness Academy

Alness

Arbroath High School

Arbroath

Auchenharvie Academy

Stevenston

Balfron High School

Balfron

Banchory Academy

Banchory

Barrhead High School

Glasgow

Bearsden Academy

Bearsden

Belmont Academy

Ayr

Biggar High School

Biggar

Boclair Academy

Glasgow

Bo'ness Academy*

Bo'ness

Boroughmuir High School

Edinburgh

Braes High School

Falkirk

Buckhaven High

Buckhaven

Caldervale High School

Airdrie

Cathkin High school*

Glasgow

Charleston Academy*

Inverness

Charleston Academy

Inverness

Clifton Hall School

Edinburgh

Craigholme School

Glasgow

Craigmount High School

Edinburgh

Cumbernauld Academy

Cumbernauld

Deans Community High School*

Livingston

Denny High School

Denny

Dollar Academy

Dollar

Douglas Academy

Glasgow

Dumbarton Academy

Dumbarton

Dumfries Academy

Dumfries

Duncanrig Secondary School

East Kilbride

Dunfermline High School

Dunfermline

Falkirk High School

Falkirk

Fernhill School

Glasgow

George Heriot's School

Edinburgh

George Watson's College

Edinburgh

Glasgow Gaelic school

Glasgow

Glenalmond College

Perth

Golspie High School

Golspie

Gordonstoun School

Elgin

Grove Academy

Dundee

Hazlehead Academy*

Aberdeen

Hermitage Academy

Helensburgh

High School of Dundee

Dundee

Hillpark Secondary

Glasgow

Holy Cross High School

Hamilton

Holyrood Secondary

Glasgow

Invergordon Academy*

Invergordon

Inverness Royal Academy

Inverness

Jordanhill School*

Glasgow

Kilsyth Academy*

Kilsyth

King's Park Secondary

Glasgow

Kinross High School

Kinross

Lanark Grammar School

Lanark

Lenzie Academy

East Dunbartonshire

Lochend Community High*

Glasgow

Lomond School

Helensburgh

Madras College

St Andrews

Mallaig High School

Mallaig

Marr College

Troon

Mearns Castle High School

Glasgow

Menzieshill High School

Dundee

Merchiston Castle

Edinburgh

Monifieth High School*

Monfieth

Morrison's Academy

Crieff

Nairn Academy

Nairn

Our Lady and St Patrick's High School*

Dumbarton

Our Lady's High School

Motherwell

Perth Academy

Perth

Prestwick Academy

Prestwick

Queensferry High School

Edinburgh

Renfrew High School

Renfrew

Robert Gordon's College

Aberdeen

Rosshall Academy

Glasgow

Saint Peter the Apostle High School

Clydebank

St Aloysius' College

Glasgow

St Andrew's and St Bride's High

East Kilbride

St Columba's School

Kilmacolm

St George's School for Girls

Edinburgh

St Joseph's College

Dumfries

St Margaret's Academy

Livingston

St Margaret's School for Girls

Aberdeen

St Mary's Music School

Edinburgh

St Paul's RC Academy

Dundee

St. Andrew's R.C. High School

Kirkcaldy

St. Margaret's High School

Airdrie

St. Maurice's High School

Glasgow

Strathallan school

Forgandenny

The Community School of Auchterarder

Aucherarder

The Glasgow Academy

Glasgow

The High School of Glasgow

Glasgow

The James Young High School*

Livingston

The Mary Erskine School

Edinburgh

The Nicolson Institute

Stornoway

The Royal High School

Edinburgh

Thurso High School

Thurso

Uddingston Grammar School

Uddingston

Wallace High School

Stirling

Wellington School

Ayr

Whitburn Academy*

Whitburn

Williamwood High School

Glasgow

Woodfarm High School*

Glasgow

Woodmill High School

Fife

 

ENDS                                                                          12 November 2015

Established in 1999, Scotland’s largest annual schools debating tournament is open to pupils in all Scottish secondary schools. Organised and run by the Law Society of Scotland, the tournament is dedicated to the memory of the former First Minister Donald Dewar MSP, who died in 2000.

Footage of the 2014/2015 tournament final is available from the Scottish Parliament https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRXURZRvHpc

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Sarah Sutton on 0131 476 8170 or email sarahsutton@lawscot.org.uk.

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