School Debates

The Leeds Salon runs annual school debating competitions 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 and, on occasions, even further afield in India, Israel and Germany.

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 also rely on our growing list of Leeds 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, see our prices below. Or if you would like to take part in any of the below competitions, and for all other queries, please contact us at:contact@leedssalon.org.uk


Headingley Festival of Ideas Years 10 & 11 Schools Debating Competition

Headingley Festival of Ideas was first held in May 2014 and, as part of the festival, Leeds Salon hosted a school debating competition for years 10 & 11 (ages 14-16 years) as a one-off event involving three Headingley schools. From 2015, we have expanded the competition to include qualifying rounds and involve more Leeds schools to win a place in the final held each spring at the HEART Centre, Headingley.

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019


The Tetley Years 10 & 11 Schools Debating Competition

The Tetley and Leeds Salon host an annual school debating competition for years 10 & 11 pupils (ages 14 to 16 years), for south and central Leeds schools. The first competition took place in January 2016 and, as well as competing to be crowned Tetley champions, the winners also go through to the final of the Headingley Festival of Ideas Schools 

2016 | 2017 | 2016 | 2019


Other Competitions

Past debating competitions we’ve run include: Lawnswood School Summer Competition in 2014, the Ralph Thoresby School Debating Competition in 2015, as part of Headingley LitFest; running Jordans Solicitors Wakefield Sixth-Form Competition in 2015 and 2016; the first ever debating competition between Leeds City College & Leeds College of Building in 2016; Lightcliffe Academy (Halifax) Summer Sixth-Form Competition in 2016; South Leeds Academy Christmas Debating Competition in 2016 Debate Outwood Sixth-Form Competition in 2017, involving schools from the Outwood Grange Academy chain; Gateacre School (Liverpool) Sixth-Form Debate in 2017; the NHS Digital/Debating Matters Sixth-Form Competition at the Thackray Medcial Museum in 2018; and the first ever Bolton Sixth-Form College Debating Competition in 2019.

On 4th July, we ran the second ‘Debate Outwood’ competition, a day-long event involving 6 schools from the Outwood Academy Trust chain. The first ‘Debate Outwood’ in the summer of 2017 was for sixth-form students. This second competition was between Years 10&11 pupils (ages 14 to 16 years), and was sponsored by the Outwood Grange Academy TrustYPO  (the Yorkshire Purchaing Organisation), and law firm Womble Bond Dickinson.

The Leeds Salon has also run many debate trainng events in Leeds schools and colleges.