A debate to mark 200 years since Rev Andrew Reed founded a school in Cobham was held at London’s Guildhall.

The debate, entitled Overcoming child deprivation and disadvantage, hosted by Reed’s School was attended by a host of dignitaries and members of the men’s breakfasts from St Andrew’s Church, Oxshott.

The breakfasts at the Oakshade Road church attract speakers which span the spectrum of arts and science, business and the professions.

The group’s interest in the debate stemmed from one of the main speakers at the debate, Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis UK, who had previously preached at the church.

The debate on what does and does not work across schools today was chaired by famed local sports broadcaster John Inverdale and also featured Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh and David Davies, former Football Association executive director.

John Inverdale handled the panel members and the audience with authority and wit, opening the debate with the question, what is education?, which prompted responses from all panel members.

A variety of questions followed from the floor, including whether schools should be dealing with social care issues.

Ron Stewart, a governor at Reed’s School and a member of the group said: “The debate was stimulating in a very special setting.

“I think Andrew Reed would have been thrilled to hear the passion and pastoral care that flowed from Camilla and Steve and that his legacy carries on; you have a fantastic foundation for similar events for the future.”

The debate was the first in a series established to mark 200 years since the opening of the school, with the second debate due to be held on February 5, 2015.

For more information, visit andrewreeddebate.org.