16 Apr 2019: DM comes to Durham on 5 July for North East Championship

Sixth-form students from eight schools in the North East will battle it out for the title of Debating Matters North East Champions 2019 at a flagship day of debate on Friday 5 July. The event will be hosted at the Durham Sixth Form Centre.

Students at previous DM Championships

Registration is now open for the competition, which sees 16- to 18-year-olds take part in a series of debates in what has been dubbed ‘the UK’s toughest debating competition’. Local schools will generally enter teams of between four and eight sixth-form students, and Debating Matters particularly welcomes applications from schools without a history of traditional debating.

Durham Sixth Form Centre

Durham Sixth Form Centre is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school and the largest post-16 school in the North East of England. With a fantastic location in central Durham, it makes a great venue for the competition and Debating Matters is glad for the school’s support.

As ever with Debating Matters, it will be the substance of the arguments – rather than the style of presentation – that will decide the winners, and participants are encouraged to leave no stone unturned in a day of fierce, frantic and, most importantly, free debate. The students will face judging panels of adults from a wide range of professional backgrounds - including local business leaders, scientists, authors and academics - who will quiz them on their arguments and challenge them to defend their research and thinking.

Geoff Kidder, chief executive of the boi charity, said of the upcoming competition: “We are hugely excited to return again to the North East, which is a region we always tremendously enjoy going to. We know we can expect very rigorous debate and an atmosphere of competitive intellectual camaraderie. We offer particular thanks to Durham Sixth Form Centre for hosting the championship. We are excited to see what the schools have in store for each other on the day.”

How to apply

To book a place for your school at Debating Matters North East, please email Bernie Whelan on  or call on 020 7269 9230. Please note, there are VERY LIMITED SPACES. Get in touch ASAP to take part.

Media enquiries

Journalists are welcome to attend the debates, which take place all day. To confirm a place, please call Jacob Reynolds on 020 7269 9231 or email


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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