A unique educational charity and membership organisation dedicated to helping people realise their potential through giving them the skills and confidence in communication to articulate their ideas and share them with others. 

Our vision is to provide people in Scotland and internationally with communications skills, confidence and opportunities to engage in an exchange of ideas and opinions. We believe that good communication and cultural exchange is essential to individual, community and global development and understanding. Education is at the very heart of our work.

Central to our mission is a commitment to working with schools and young people to narrow gaps in opportunity and assist in closing the poverty-related attainment gap.


Lockdown Debating Materials

As part of our Speak up Scotland programme, the ESU Scotland have put together materials to help teachers, pupils and parents keep debating during this lockdown period.​

You can find these materials on this page, and we'll also be updating our blog regularly with posts, videos and exercises. 

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Debating During Lockdown: A Guide for Teachers

Intuitions, Examples and Analogies


St Andrew's Day Debate 2019

On Saturday 30th November, we held the 13th annual St Andrew's Day Debating Competition.

The standard of debate was incredibly high- with pupils from around Scotland debating topics such as abolishing exams and granting prisoners the right to vote. University students mentored the young debaters throughout the day. 

The team that won the competition consisted of Meg Wishart from Broxburn Academy and Aidan Urquhart from Thurso High School, who spoke passionately against relocating people away from areas at risk of climate change damage in the exciting final at the Scottish Parliament. Congratulations to them! 

The best speaker at the competition was Anish Sumbramaniam from Robert Gordon's College and the best pupil judge was David Logan from the High School of Dundee. The runner-up team consisted of Joseph Scott from Kelvinside Academy and Rosie McCrone from Perth Academy. The runner-up pupil judge, who joined in judging the final, was Amber Richardson from Aboyne Academy. 

Judge Training Video

With the help of our friends at the Law Society of Scotland we've put together a training video for judges. 

This video outlines some of things to think about when judging a debate- how to tell if an argument is persuasive, how to choose a winning team and how to explain your decision to the speakers in your debate. Click the screenshot below to give the video a watch!

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We have relocated to Norton Park, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5QY.

We shall look forward to working with you from our new office!


Please note our new phone numbers are: 0131 475 2332 and 0131 475 2606.

Norton Park, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5QY  0131 475 2332 

Scottish charity number: SC000653


© 2019 by ESU Scotland