Debate Mate state school student joins England debating team

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Ife Grillo, 17, has become the only state-educated pupil on the England schools debating team. The schoolboy from Hackney is the first member of the team to have been coached by charity Debate Mate, which specifically works in schools with an above average number of students on free school meals.

Grillo will travel to the championships in Germany with teammates from Eton, Westminster, Dulwich College, and Alleyn’s School. Team England has won the world championship twice in the last decade, most recently in 2014.

Debate Mate has enjoyed much success this year, with teams making it to the finals in multiple national competitions. Grillo described Debate Mate on Twitter as an “organisation truly changing the world”.

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