Uxbridge College is on its way to the national finals of a debating competition after winning the London North Regional Finals at the Barbican Centre.

Out of 280 institutions originally entered in the Debating Matters competition, the College has reached the final 12.

The College team won rounds on the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme, the levying of the sugar tax, and – in the final debate - the notion of reparations for the slave trade.

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: “This is a terrific result for Uxbridge College’s debating team, and a real reflection on both the talent and commitment of these students. I would like to congratulate them on their achievements as individuals and as members of the College and wider community – and to wish them the best of luck in the national finals.”

Suba Dickerson, Head of Learning Resources at Uxbridge College and the debating team coach, said: “The competition is often described as the UK's toughest debating competition, so it is particularly impressive to see an FE college as a regional final winner. I am extremely proud of our team, the students have worked really hard, which means they should be on track to do the best they can at the finals in July too.”

A number of prizes were awarded to Uxbridge College including £500 for the College to spend on books from Hodder Education, rugby tickets for a match at Wembley and six books for each team member, and a Highly Commended Individual prize to team member Rhema Thomas-Johnson.

The judges included Pamela Dow, Director of Strategy at the Ministry of Justice, and author, broadcaster and journalist Michael Goldfarb.

Pamela Dow said: “The final was a great debate on reparations for slavery. Highgate Wood School almost changed my mind, but Uxbridge College deserved to win. Well done to all the students who took part in Debating Matters.”

Michael Goldfarb said: “I really enjoyed being a Debating Matters judge. The students were great and very, very talented.”

The team consisted of Ciaran Martin, Rhema Thomas-Johnson, Rhiannon Harradine, and David Kinane, supported by Marcus Davenport, who came to the event and asked questions from the floor. Ciaran and David are pictured on the right, alongside the chair and two students from another school.