The world's leading debating competition for students

The World Schools Debating Championships

The World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) is the most respected international English-language debating competition for students aged 14-19.

As well as encouraging competition between the most talented young debaters in the world, the competition aims to promote international understanding and celebrate free speech.

Founded in 1988, this two week tournament provides an opportunity to showcase the highest standard of secondary school debating across the globe. The location of the competition changes each year; recent venues include Peru, Qatar, Seoul, Athens, Cape Town, Turkey and Thailand.

The ESU is proud to manage Team England and Team Wales. With the assistance of an experienced selection panel, we select debaters for the teams as well as their coaches, manage their participation in the tournament and finance them.

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Each year, national debating organisations across the world put together teams of up to 5 of their nation's best debaters to compete in the Championships. The selected debaters then train hard together to ensure that they are prepared to the best of their abilities.

The competition lasts for around 2 weeks in which teams participate in 4 debates on prepared motions released roughly 2 months before the competition and 4 impromptu debates for which the topic is given 1 hour before the start of the debate, After the inrounds, the teams are ranked by number of debates won, number of judges who voted for them and speaker points, and the top 16 teams then progress or 'break' to the knockout stages.

The next Championship will take place in Bali from 1-11 August 2017.

You can follow your team on Twitter or Instagram @TeamEnglandWSDC or @TeamWalesWSDC or find us on Facebook at Team England at WSDC or Team Wales at WSDC.

Team England are the reigning World Champions!

We are very proud of Archie Hall (Westminster School), Rosa Thomas (Alleyns School), Edward Bracey (Eton College), Ife Grillo (Bridge Academy) and the captain Kenza Wilks (Dulwich College) who swept to glory after 13 intense rounds of debating at the competition in Stuttgart. Read about how they got there You can get a taste of the excitement here and you can get a taste of the excitement here.

The team defending the title in Bali are Kenza Wilks (Dulwich College), Edward Bracey (Eton College), Hannah Taylor (Tiffin Girls’ School), Tara Sallis (Berkhamsted School) and Arthur James (Eton College).

The world champion coaches Andrew Fitch (Director of Spoken Literacy at Highbury Grove School) and Lewis Iwu (Director of the Fair Education Alliance) are continuing to coach Team England for WSDC 2017 in Bali too!

If you want to come and meet the team and see them in action then click here to register for your free ticket to the annual Old vs. New Team England debate on the 26th of April in Dartmouth House.

Support the team on Twitter and Instagram @TeamEnglandWSDC or join the Team England at WSDC Facebook group.

Team Wales beat 45 nations to place 11th in the world!

The team that will be representing Wales in Bali is Ariana Jessa (Atlantic College), Vaishnavi Sabrigirivasan (Cardiff Sixth Form College), Matthew Zheng (Atlantic College), Sheikh Srijon (Atlantic  College), Odunayo Salu (Cardiff Sixth Form College). The team will be coached by George Clay (University of Cambridge).

Team Wales is seeking a volunteer to act as Team Manager to Wales and adjudicator during the tournament.

The skills fostered at the Championships lie at the heart of democracy, and the tournament itself provides a unique opportunity to foster a cross-cultural exchange of ideas, understanding and friendship. In order for the team to do their best the Team Manager will help care for the physical and emotional wellbeing of the team. They will ensure that the team adhere to the Code of Conduct and expectations of the Championships whilst also getting the opportunity to judge some of the highest quality secondary school debates. Although the position entails a lot of hard work and organisation during the tournament, it is immensely rewarding.

To apply please download the position description from the resources box at the bottom of this page and email an application to by 12:00 on 31st March 2017.

Support the team on Twitter @TeamWalesWSDC or join the Team Wales at WSDC Facebook group.


Below you will find more details of the competition and information about how the team trials work.

An introduction to the competition
Competition format
Further Information
Wales Team Manager information