Debating Matters & RCUK Global Uncertainties Schools Network

The Global Uncertainties School Network has now completed its programme of events held in conjunction with six schools and colleges from around the country. The final event, held at Blackburn College on 30 April, was the exciting culmination of a fast-moving and unique project.

Debating Matters has been delighted by the enthusiasm with which both students and speakers have approached their participation in this project. Writing several weeks after his appearance as a panellist for the Sheffield Global Uncertainties events, journalist Bill Carmichael wrote a very interesting piece for his weekly column for the Yorkshire Post. He said that initially he hadn’t held out great hope for a lively discussion and that instead his expectation was:

“to be asked a few desultory questions by a couple of dozen bored sixth formers who had been dragooned into attending… I couldn’t have been more wrong. The venue – a large lecture theatre in Sheffield – was packed with school pupils, teachers, students, political activists and even a few members of the public. They were engaged, enthusiastic and well-informed and determined to give the members of the panel the grilling of our lives… Watching the General Election debate over recent weeks, I was struck by the contrast. Tough questions – most notably on the perilous state of the economy – have been ducked throughout.”

The Global Uncertainties School network has been an exciting project for the Debating Matters team. Supported by Research Council UK’s Global Uncertainties Programme, the project has drawn on the excellent work of some of the Programmes’ fellows, who have not only contributed to the network’s resources but have also taken part as speakers and offered insightful and thoughtful reflections on the wide-ranging themes of the programme. In addition to Global Uncertainties fellows who took part at each of these events, the school network has benefited from the input of a diverse and impressive range of contributors, whose input as speakers and judges have benefited students enormously – Debating Matters would like to offer all of them our heartfelt thanks for helping to make all 12 of these events such a success.

The Debating Matters team would like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all of the teachers and schools who generously hosted the Global Uncertainties School events and to thank them for all of the work that went on behind the scenes to make these events happen- David Perks at Graveney School in Tooting, Owen Tiplady at Redland Green School in Bristol, Paul Moore-Bridger at Silverdale School in Sheffield, Kevin Rooney at Queens’ School in Bushey, Richard Swan at Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone and David Jones at Blackburn College.

Finally, we would like to thank RCUK’s Global Uncertainties Programme for their partnership in this project, and for helping us to create unique events for schools across the country.

Global Uncertainties in the press:

‘Leading thinkers debate at Graveney School in Tooting’
Surrey Comet March 4 2010
‘Opinions erupt at Question Time-style debate hosted by Queens’ School in Bushey’
Watford Observer March 16 2010
‘Leading thinkers speak at Harvey Grammar School’s evening of public debate’
Hawkinge Gazette March 31 2010
‘Amazing day of philosophical debate’
Bristol Evening Post April 28 2010


If you are interested in working in partnership with Debating Matters, contact the competition’s director, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Thursday 27 June:
Oxfordshire Championship at Oxford Union, in partnership with Magdalen College School and Oxford Festival of Arts

Friday 5 July:
North East Championship at Durham Sixth Form Centre


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


Bernie Whelan, our DM coordinator, is raising money for Debating Matters. To stage one of our Championships for six to 12 teams costs £6,000. Find out more on Bernie’s Wonderful fundraising page.


© 2005-2023 Debating Matters Competition, boi, Unit 208, Cocoa Studios, The Biscuit Factory, Drummond Road, London, SE16 4DG, UK

Tel +44 (0)20 3176 0827 - | admin login