We at ESU Scotland were very excited at being given the opportunity to host the last World Members’ Conference in Edinburgh in September 2008. Over 250 delegates from 31 countries attended.

 ESU World 2008
ESU Scotland Annual Debating Competitions

ESU Scotland runs a number of annual speech and debates competitions for schools.
ESU Debates Competitions Information 2014-15

Registration for the ESU Scotland Juniors' Competition and the ESU Schools' Mace has now closed.

ESU Scotland Juniors' Debating Competition

The ESU Scotland National Juniors’ Debating Competition, the first ever national schools debating competition for students in years S1 to S3, is now in its 15th year with over 120 teams competing in a knockout competition to find a national champion. The National Final is a showpiece occasion, held each year in a prestigious venue, often the Scottish Parliament.

The participants compete in the British Parliamentary style; with four teams of two preparing separately and filling one of the spaces in the debate. Each speaker gives a five minute speech on a motion that is distributed to the teams several weeks in advance of the debate, making this a long-prep competition. Ties are held in the evenings, usually hosted by a school. Motions cover a wide range of current affairs and are different for each of the rounds.

ESU Scotland Juniors' Debating Competition Handbook

ESU Schools' Mace

The ESU Schools’ Mace is the oldest and largest debating competition in the United Kingdom, contested since 1957 across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; with over 600 schools entering each year. ESU Scotland runs the Scottish leg of the competition. The Schools’ Mace is for senior, secondary school pupils and last year it had competitors from over 60 Scottish schools. There are preliminary rounds which then lead on to a Scottish Final. The Scottish National Champions go on to compete in the International Final, held on a four-year rotation, in each of the member countries.

The competition follows the traditional Mace format which is simpler than the British Parliamentary style but involves longer speeches, of seven minutes, and more advanced subject matter. The Mace format pushes speakers to greater depths of understanding and engages them on topics ranging from the International Criminal Court to civil liberties and economic theory.

There is an age limit for pupils entering the Mace. A student whose 19th birthday occurs before the close of registration (Friday 5th September) is ineligible to compete.

The first round of the Schools' Mace will be sponsored by The European Movement, Scotland’s oldest dedicated pro-European campaigning organisation.

ESU Schools' Mace Handbook

For more information about how to use the Mace and British Parliamentary formats in the classroom, please download Debates Formats.

St Andrew's Day Debating Tournament

We run an annual one-day debating tournament in partnership with the Scottish Parliament and Education Scotland to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. This national competition is unique in the debating calendar since it pairs university students together with senior school pupils in a single team. For more details, please contact the ESU office.

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