The England final of the ESU Schools Mace (national debating competition for schools) took place at Dartmouth House on Friday 30 March 2012.
Between October 2011 and March 2012, after 172 first round debates, 85 second round debates and 24 regional final debates (281 debates in total!) eight regional winners were identified, who would compete in the England final.
The England final consisted of two semi-finals and a grand final.
The motions before the house for both semi-finals were “This house believes that environmental groups should use the destruction of property to further their aims” and “This house would ban the use of private military contractors in war zones.”
In semi-final one, Bishop Wordsworth's Grammar School (Winners of the SW Regional Final) debated against Eton College (Winners of the C Regional Final), and St Francis Xavier's College (Winners of the NW Regional Final) debated against Winchester College (Winners of the S Regional Final). Eton College were declared the winners of semi-final one and progressed to the final debate.
In semi-final two Concord College (Winner of the W Regional Final) debated against The Grammar School At Leeds (Winners of the NE Regional Final), and City of London School for Girls (Winners of the E Regional Final) debated against Dulwich College (Winners of the SE Regional Final). Dulwich College emerged victorious from semi-final two and also progressed to the final debate.
The motion for the final debate was “This house would criminalise holocaust denial” with Eton College in proposition and Dulwich College in opposition. After 45 minutes of adjudication the seven-person adjudication panel, chaired by Nick Pacheco, decided that Eton College had narrowly defeated Dulwich College to be the winners of the England Mace final.
Eton College will shortly go on to compete in the International Final of the ESU Schools Mace. This is the first time that Eton College has won the England Mace final since the mid 1960’s.