School debating session to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS

On the 6th of July 2023 pupils from Tredegar and Brynmawr Comprehensive Schools took part in a debating session to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS). The debate took place in the Chambers at Bedwellty House and Park Tredegar, where Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS once sat. Councillor John Morgan opened the session by providing some history about the Query Club which was a radical semi-secret debating society of like-minded young socialist’ which was set up by Nye Bevan, Billy Bevan, Walter Conway, Archie Lush, Oliver Jones and a number of other friends. There was also a short film about ‘Nye’ Bevan.


The debate had two topics which were provided to the pupils beforehand to prepare.

Topic One- Should the NHS be free at the point of contact?
Pupils took the floor, four and three at a time, each pupil had a chance to put forward their points and during this round the pupils voted who they felt had the strongest arguments, which allowed all the pupils to fully participate. There were four pupils chosen from round one, two pupils from each of the schools.

Topic Two- Do you think people should take more ownership over their wellbeing? What would the impact be on the NHS?
Each pupil was able to put forward their arguments around topic two, all the other pupils listened as the pupils spoke. During this time Councillor Sue Edmunds (Cabinet member for Education), Alyson Tippings (Blaenau Gwent Staff Member) and Kevin Phillips (Cymru Creations) listened to the presented arguments to judge who they felt was the overall winner of the day.

Whilst the panelists were deliberating who the winner should be pupils were given the opportunity to have an open debate where questions were presented directly to the last four pupils on their points raised. It allowed the pupils to explore debating by taking part, be respectful, as well as highlighting their own view and opinions. Councillor Sue Edmunds thanked all the pupils for taking part as well as reiterating to them all how well they had done throughout the session, summarising the important topics they had raised, and that it was ok to have and form different opinions and said, “It’s about discussion and discussion is healthy”.


The overall winner of the day was Emma a pupil from Tredegar Comprehensive School


Councillor John Morgan congratulated the pupils for their participation in the day and thanked everyone for coming and said,  “This was such an enjoyable session; one we hope to repeat again!”