School Debates

The Leeds Salon runs an annual school debating competition for years 10&11 pupils, as well as competitions for sixth-forms and colleges.

For all competitions, we use the format of the sixth-form Debating Matters competition, for whom we’re also ‘Judging Partners’ – helping to run DM events in the north of England.

Since 2016, we’ve also presented The Leeds Salon Individual Prize at the Debating Matters Yorkshire Regional Final to the individual who best exemplifies the spirit of Enlightenment inquiry.

For our competitions we rely on our growing list of Salon Judges, without whose help none of this would be possible.

If your school, college or company and would like help running your own debating competition, or would like to take part in our annual years 10&11 competition, please contact us at: [email protected]

Leeds Salon’s Annual Years 10&11 Debating Competition

2023 Champions - Cardinal Heenan  Catholic High with (Nat Edwards (Director, Royal Armouries), Simon Pilling (WBD) & Mo Lovatt (Debating Matters)Our annual Years 10&11 debating competition was first held in 2014 as a one-off event involving just 3 North Leeds schools. In 2015, we expanded the competition to include qualifying rounds to involve more schools to win a place in the final.

We want to say a big thank you to leading transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (Leeds) for agreeing to become Headline Partners for 2023, making is: The Womble Bond Dickinson / Leeds Salon Debating Competition 2023.

 The Final which took placed at our new Venue Partner – Royal Armouries Museum on Wednesday 29th March. And we want to thank the Royal Armouries and its Director, Nat Edwards, and in particular Chloe Coleman for helping organise the final, and to thank the Armouries for their contribution to the package of prizes.

Congratulations 2023 Champions – Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School. Well done Runners-Up – St Mary’s Menston, and to the other schools taking part in the final Abbey Grange Academy and Mount St Mary’s, and the other schools which took part in the qualifying Rounds.

Congratulations also to the three individual prize winners: ‘Best Individual’ – Korede Ayileka and ‘Highly Commended’ – Sam Anteney of Cardinal Heenan and ‘Commended Individual’ – Dwija Kishorekumar of Abbey Grange.

Prize Sponsors for the 2023 final include multi-award winning media technology business Tectonic Interactive. and University of Leeds’ Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied (IDEA) Centre

As well as being the 10th anniversary year of our competition, we were delighted that this year’s competition was included as one of Debating Matters 20 for 20 events to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Years 10&11 Finals: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2022 | 2023

Other competitions we’ve ran:

From 2016 to 2020 Leeds Salon ran the annual Tetley Years 10&11 Debating Competition for south and central Leeds schools: 2016, 2017, 2018, 20192020. As well as competing to be crowned Tetley Champions, the winners would go on to compete in the final of our annual Years 10&11 competition against the north Leeds qualifying round winners: 

Since 2014 we’ve also ran the following competitions: Lawnswood School Summer Competition (2014); Ralph Thoresby School Debating Competition as part of Headingley LitFest (2015); Jordans Solicitors Wakefield Sixth-Form Competition in 2015 & 2016; the first ever competition between Leeds City College & Leeds College of Building (2016);  Lightcliffe Academy (Halifax) Summer Sixth-Form Competition (2016); South Leeds Academy Christmas Debating Competition (2016); ‘Debate Outwood’ Sixth-Form Competition involving schools from the Outwood Grange Academy chain (2017), Gateacre School (Liverpool) Sixth-Form Debate; (2018); NHS Digital/Debating Matters Sixth-Form Competition at Thackray Medical Museum (2018); Bolton Sixth-Form College Debating Competition (2019); the second ‘Debate Outwood’ competition, this time for Years 10&11 students from Outwood Academy chain (2019).