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Local Students Encouraged to Speak their Mind

On Thursday 8th November, St Albans Cathedral will welcome Sixth Formers from across the region to the 20th annual Sixth Form Debate. Run in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, the event regularly attracts over 400 students to take part in discussions on current affairs, providing an invaluable opportunity for students to debate with a panel of high profile speakers. As in previous years, the format of the event will be based on the BBC’s Question Time and is designed to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions and share in a morning of debate.

This year’s panel includes Mark Elliott, head of external operations for Help for Heroes; historian, commentator and writer Catherine Pepinster, who regularly contributes to national publications such as the Guardian and the Telegraph; and Robert Voss CBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire. Completing the panel is Peter Tatchell, a human rights campaigner best known for his work with LGBT social movements, who returns to the Cathedral having given a lecture as part of the Cathedral’s adult education programme earlier in the year. Chairing the panel is Quintin McKellar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.

As in previous years, much of the debate will centre on politics and current affairs, with Brexit likely to be a popular point of debate. This year, however, to tie into the national programme of events marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, part of the debate will focus on war, peace and commemoration.

Steve Clarke, Education Officer at St Albans Cathedral said “It’s amazing to think that our Sixth Form Debate is now in its 20th year. Since it began, over 100 panellists and 8000 students have attended and enjoyed debate of the highest of standards, and this year will be no different. I’m sure that the event will continue to flourish!”

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