Bolton School Senior Girls

School to Host The Great Debate

Bolton School Girls' Division's Sutcliffe Studio will host the local heat of the Historical Association's Great Debate 2020, the national public speaking competition for students aged 16-19 years. The event will take place on Monday 4 November at 6pm. 

Students have five minutes to make a speech presenting their argument in answer to the question: ‘Should we judge historical figures by the morals of today?’

Entrants are encouraged to consider all periods of history when deciding their argument, and to pick a subject matter of personal interest to them. How they wish to tackle the question is ultimately their choice. 

They might consider the question by focusing on one particular historical figure or social issue (Should Columbus Day still be celebrated in America? Does Anne Boleyn deserve a posthumous pardon?); or discuss multiple figures in light of later social change (Can we ever overlook the harm caused by imperialism? What impact might #MeToo have on historical study?); or they might decide a different approach that better suits what they wish to talk about. 

The event is open to anyone aged 16-19 years, although schools usually hold their own internal competition and then enter one student. Further details can be found on the Historical Association's website here.

On the night, the judging panel will comprise Hilary Fairclough (Mayor), Julia Head (Branch Chair and former Bolton School staff member) and Professor Mike Winstanley of Lancaster University. 

You can watch last year's winning speeches here.