Debating Matters represents a challenging and engaging approach to debating for sixth form students. Debating Matters presents students with topical debates and a challenging format that will appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds, and to schools with a long tradition of debating, or with none.

What is the Debating Matters Competition?
Debating Matters seeks to offers a fresh, accessible and engaging format for debating contemporary issues. The competition has been pioneering a format for debate that takes ideas, argument and young people seriously. The focus is on content and substance over style, encouraging young people to engage in an intelligent contest of ideas and holding up their ideas to critical scrutiny.

What’s distinctive about Debating Matters?
The central innovation of the Debating Matters format is the involvement of a panel of judges who join in the debates and encourage students to develop and defend their arguments. This tests students’ ability not only to make a polished and persuasive opening presentation, but also to respond under pressure, think on their feet and produce the evidence to back up their arguments. The focus on contemporary real world issues and opening up the debate to the audience further contribute to this stimulating model for debate.

Who is Debating Matters aimed at?
The competition seeks to attract a diverse range of schools and colleges and to be open to students from a wide range of backgrounds. The Debating Matters format does away with the procedural formalities that can make debating appear anachronistic and irrelevant to first-time debaters, whilst also offering a potentially more demanding challenge to experienced debaters.

See what other schools think about their involvement with the Debating Matters Competition, and what their students get our of their participation, by reading our School Case Studies.


To find out more about entering a team from your school, take a look at our Processes, as well as our Rules and FAQ’s sections. If you would like to talk to someone about your school taking part, email us or call 020 7269 9230.


Thursday 27 June:
Oxfordshire Championship at Oxford Union, in partnership with Magdalen College School and Oxford Festival of Arts

Friday 5 July:
North East Championship at Durham Sixth Form Centre


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


Bernie Whelan, our DM coordinator, is raising money for Debating Matters. To stage one of our Championships for six to 12 teams costs £6,000. Find out more on Bernie’s Wonderful fundraising page.


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