ESU Juniors' Debating Competitions
In September 2000, ESU Scotland launched the National Juniors’ Debating Competition – the first ever national schools debating competition for Scottish secondary school students in years 1-3. The competition is now in its eighth year.
2012-13 ESU Juniors Debating Competition
The Juniors competition draws entrants from all over Scotland, and remains one of the most popular and fiery competitions with debaters and judges alike. This year, 119 teams entered the competition, and after three rounds of hgih quality debating we have four regional champions, namely St Columba's, Kilmacolm, Douglas Academy, George Watson's College, and the High School of Dundee, who will compete in the final on September 25th 2013 at the Scottish Parliament, starting at 6pm.
For details of next year's competition or if you wish to attend the 2013 final, please contact the Head of Speech and Debates
ESU Schools Mace
ESU Scotland also assists in running the ESU Schools Mace, a competition organised by the Centre for Speech and Debate based at the English-Speaking Union in London. This competition is primarily for older secondary school students (although there is no lower age limit) and is entered by more than 400 teams throughout England and Scotland each year.
2012-13 Scottish Schools Mace
The Final of the Scottish Schools' Mace 2013 was very generously hosted by Fettes College on Saturday 23rd March, with both the regional and grand finals being held on the day. 60 teams entered the competition, with 16 making it through to the regional finals, which were fought on the motion This House Would abolish trial by jury. The four regional champions, Glenalmond from the Northern section, George Heriots from the Edinburgh section, and Uddingston Grammar and High School of Glasgow from the two Glasgow sections, then came together on the Saturday afternoon to battle for the Scottish title.
The motion for the final was This House Would ban the production for road use of cars capable of driving over 70mph. The debating was of high quality and extremely tight, and the judging panel, made up of Richard Wilkins, Kirsty Kakanskas, Ewan MacDonald, Greg Murray, and Robin Harper, were divided. The decision eventually went the way of Charlie Holmes and Francis Kerrigan of George Heriot's School, a school with a long tradition of debating success.
They went on to represent Scotland at the International Schools Mace on Saturday 20th April, where they were edged out by Dulwich College.
Recent Winners of Scottish Schools Mace:
2008-9: George Heriot's School
2009-10: High School of Dundee
2010-11: Dollar Academy
2011-12: George Heriot's School
ESU Vice-Presidents' Cup
In 2009, ESU Scotland launched a new debating competition for schools that have taken part in our Debates Outreach Project. The Vice-Presidents’ Cup is the only competition especially for novice debaters from schools that have participated in our debates outreach programme. Our Outreach work, which is generously funded by the Williams Trust, the Robertson Trust and the MacRobert Trust, brings all of the fun and skills of debating to schools and pupils that have never had this opportunity before, through workshops for pupils and teachers all across Scotland.
St Andrew's Day Debating Tournament
The 4th St Andrew's Day National Debating Competition finally took place at the Scottish Parliament on Monday 7th February, having been delayed by the snow last autumn. It was a fantastic day, with heats being held all across the Parliament during the day, many of them in rooms not usually accessible to the public. The final took place in the main Debating Chamber, which was an exciting opportunity for the young speakers to address the audience and their fellow debaters from the MSP’s own seats. The motion for the final was This House believes that the private sector should do more to solve child poverty and was hotly contested by four teams made of university students and school pupils. The standard of debate throughout the day and in the final was very high, and after fighting off tough competition the winners were Ruth Cameron from Dollar Academy and Andrew Niven from Stewart’s Melville College. Ross Mitchell from Glasgow University was awarded the prize for Best University Speaker and Elliott Porter from Bearsden Academy won Best School Speaker.