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Home > Awards > Oracy Culture Award

An award recognising and celebrating those schools placing oracy at the heart of their curriculum

Oracy Culture Award

Key facts

  • What: An award recognising primary and secondary schools’ efforts to cultivate a sustainable culture of oracy
  • Prize: A free, full-day public speaking or debating workshop for up to 24 students and a trophy
  • When: Applications are open from January to early March each year. Winners are announced in March

In brief

The English-Speaking Union’s Oracy Culture Award is the only national award which recognises and celebrates those schools placing oracy at the heart of their curriculum. There are two award categories: one for primary and one for secondary schools. Entry is via a simple application form (see below), and is judged by an impartial panel with experience in oracy education. Applications close on Wednesday, 26 February and the winners will be notified in early March. Representatives from the winning schools will be invited to accept their award at the Schools’ Mace 2019/20 national final on Monday 23 March 2020 at Dartmouth House, London.

Your school is eligible to apply if it has taken part in any of the following ESU programmes from September 2018 to January 2020: the Big Debate Day, Debate-able, Discover Debating, Discover Your Voice, House of Lords Chamber Debate, London Debate Challenge, Performing Shakespeare, the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition, or the Schools’ Mace.’

Why enter

  • Gain recognition for your school’s work promoting oracy
  • Win a debating or public speaking workshop for up to 24 students, worth £600
  • Excellent promotional tool helping your school to attract more students and teachers
  • Winner/Highly Commended logo to use on website and letterheads etc
  • Winner’s trophy to keep and display
  • Boost enthusiasm for oracy amongst students and parents
  • Provide Ofsted with evidence of promoting SMSC education


Congratulations to the 2020 winner of the Oracy Culture Award, South Hampstead High School.


If you have any questions about the Oracy Culture Award, please email or call 020 7529 1573

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