BBC presenter Michael Buerk took his presentation skills back to his roots for Solihull School’s first Big Debate.
The former Nine O’Clock News presenter and chairman of BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze, who was a pupil at the independent school in Warwick Road from 1955 to 1965, chaired the event in front of a large audience of pupils, parents, friends and dignitaries, including the new Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Kate Wild, in the School’s Bushell Hall.
Meriden MP and former Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman proposed the motion ‘This house believes that rich nations (G20) should strive to meet the UN guideline of giving 0.7% of their GDP to the poorest’. The opposition was led by Adam Hawksbee, a recent graduate and former President of Sheffield University Debating Society.
Solihull pupil George Diwaker, who has won a place at Oxford University to read Theology, seconded the motion. Aine Maher, a Lower Sixth Former who will be next year’s Debating Society President, was the seconder for the opposition. The Chairman was assisted by other leading Society members Madeleine Lavery and Ben Piggin.
Michael Buerk, who has also become the new Patron of Solihull Debating Society, said: “The debate was terrific and showed why Solihull has one of the finest reputations for debating for any school in the country.”
Solihull was ranked among the UK’s top ten teams at this year’s Durham University Schools Competition, Europe’s biggest debating contest. The School has one of the largest school debating societies in the country with more than 250 members.