We were delighted to welcome Mr Grinsell back to Downside to judge the Abingdon Debating Final last Friday.

Throughout the debating rounds Barlow and Isabella have been neck and neck so the final was always going to be an exciting one. The final motion of ‘This House believes Boris Johnson should resign’ was proposed by a calm and collected Barlow team and passionately opposed by a spirited Isabella team. 

Mr Grinsell gave thorough feedback to both teams and ultimately awarded the win to Barlow House, due to consistency of argument. A particular good point from the floor from Sixth Former Barney about ignorance not being the same as innocence (in regard to the Partygate scandal) was not good news for Isabella. Congratulations to the Barlow team. Thank you to all the debaters who have contributed to the Abingdon Society this year and especially Heads of School, Stephanie and Joseph, our chairs. 

From Stephanie & Joseph:
‘As co-chairs of the Abingdon Debating Society this year we have been able to witness an extraordinary standard of debating from all Houses and ages. We have both been debating since the Third Form and it has been a truly valuable experience and brilliant to see how much debating has evolved and taken shape over these years.

Of course, a special congratulations must be given to Barlow who performed very admirably in this year’s final achieving the largest shift in support from the floor that we, at least, have witnessed. We hope that many of the people who debated for the first time this year will continue for the years to come just as we did and will get as much out of it as we believe we have. Though we certainly feel great sadness at our departure from the chair we are sure that there is a very capable chair primed and ready to take our place for coming year.’