23 May 2023

Fraserburgh Academy through to national finals of debating competition

An Aberdeenshire school has made it through to the national finals of a debating competition.
Fraserburgh Academy is the only state school in the UK to make the final of the Ethics Cup, organised by the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, a research centre within the Department of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews.
Pupils will be going head-to-head with the likes of Eton College and St Columba’s School in Inverclyde, the only other Scottish school in the competition.
The team comprises: Ryan Broadley, Ellie Busby, Kirsty Clark, Gary Dixon, Fidelia Ileledewa, and Mackenzie Morrison.
Rector at Fraserburgh Academy Irene Sharp said: “We are very proud of our ethics team, led by teachers Fiona Chalton and Finlay Mackie, and we’re all wishing them the very best of luck.
“Our team consists of six S6 pupils – some of whom are sitting philosophy exams this year – and they all have a great mix of opinions and ideas and have done amazingly well to make it through to the finals.”
The Ethics Cup is not a traditional debating tournament – students are rewarded not on their ability to win an argument, but by advancing the debate on ethical issues of public concern.
Debates will include crackdowns on Airbnb, liver transplants for drinkers and the American politician George Santos.
The team won the North East Scotland Regional in February at Keith Grammar School, covering topics such as disgraced artists, cancel culture, ghosting and journalistic objectivity. 
Mrs Sharp continued: “The matches were closely fought and our team worked extremely hard against the other schools in our three matches. 
“The judges in each round looked for not only our ability to make a clear point, but also to accept other points of view and to help the other team towards a more specific opinion. 
“Points were awarded for clarity, structure, but also humility, and the ability to help the other team.”
She added: “Suffice to say, we’re so proud that they are now one of 12 top teams in the country and our team is a credit to the school and their community, competing with commitment and respect.”
The final takes place on Thursday (May 25) at St Andrew’s University.