Welcome to The Leeds Salon

The Leeds Salon is a public discussion forum founded in February 2009. The Salon organises discussions around political, cultural and scientific issues, with the aim of challenging any orthodoxies along the way, defending and developing the legacy of the Enlightenment and, above all, providing a space where free speech can take place. Find out more.

salon & school debating news

The next salon will be in spring 2024

The Womble Bond Dickinson / Leeds Salon Years 10&11 Debating Competition 2024

January and February, we’ll be hosting the qualifying rounds of our annual school debating competition for years 10&11 students, for the second year in partnership with leading transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson.

Using the format and topic guides of the sixth-form Debating Matters competition, schools will compete to win a place in the final to be held in March.

Qualifying Round details will appear here by mid-December.

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Sixth-Form Debating Competition

Thursday 16th November was the first Royal Armouries Sixth-Form Debating Competition, run in partnership with The Leeds Salon.

Congratulations Grammar School at Leeds for being declared Royal Armouries Museum Leeds Chmapions 2023 after winning both of their debates.

Commiserations, but well done too, to Abbey Grange CofE Academy and Notre Dame Catholic Sixth-Form College for making it such a well-fought competitions over 3 debates. The winners received history books and vouchers each for 2 to watch the jousting and copies of the Academy of Ideas’ ‘Letters on Liberty’ from Debating Matters. They’ll also received certificates from the Royal Armouries.

Congratulations also Hannah de Dombal of Grammar School at Leeds for being nominated ‘Best Individual’ by our judges up against such close competition from the other debaters. Hannah received a history book and jousting vouchers from the Royal Armouries, and a signed copy of Timandra Harkness’ book Big Data from Leeds Salon, and she’ll also receive a certificate. From the museum.

Abbey Grange and Notre Dame also received copies of the Academy of Ideas ‘Letter on Liberty’ ‘Why Debating Matters’ by Debating Matters National Co-ordinator Mo Lovatt.

Thank you to our team judges for their tough questions and comments: Royal Armouries Director General Nat Edwards and Royal Armouries’ Florence Symington and Rebecca Lowe, Debating Matters’ Geoff Kidder, leading surgeon Simon Kay OBE, artist and writer Annabel Carington and Leeds Salon’s Dan Clayton. And thank you to co-organiser, the Royal Armouries’ Chloe Coleman.

The competition used the format and topic guides of Debating Matters, and was a DM20for20 event – one of 20 events to celebrate Debating Matters 20th anniversary.


Winning Team: Grammar School at Leeds (L to R): Amber Malkin, Anna Kaufmann, teacher Mr Westwood, Hannah de Dombal, Anika Bansal

See details here.