Join | Donate | Volunteer:

Join

Become part of a 5,000+ community which believes that speaking and listening skills are central to personal fulfilment and cultural understanding

Become a member

Donate

One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive

Support our work

Volunteer

We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help

Volunteer

‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

Home > Competitions

Our competitions build confidence, resilience and vital 21st century oracy skills. Open to all schools and educational institutions across England and Wales.

Schools’
Mace

Three young females - two sitting down and listening to the other speaking whiles she is standing with lens glasses on.

WHAT: The oldest and largest debating competition for schools in England and Wales

AGE: Ages 11 – 18 (Years 7 – 13)

HOW: Registration is closed for this year. Sign up to our mailing list for more information and updates

WHEN: November – April

WATCH: Our introductory webinar to find out more

Find out more

Public Speaking Competition

A female tutor with a notepad on her hand is standing whiles speaking.

WHAT: Largest public speaking competition for schools in England and Wales

AGE: Ages 13 – 16 (Years 9 – 11)

HOW: Registration is closed for this year. Sign up to our mailing list for more information and updates

WHEN: November – May

WATCH: Our introductory webinar to find out more

Find out more

Performing Shakespeare

An inclusive group picture that comprises of primary school pupils, secondary school students, tutors and event organisers.

WHAT: Inclusive, accessible competition allowing students to perform Shakespeare

AGE: Ages 11 – 14 (Years 7 – 9)

HOW: Registration is closed for this year. Sign up to our mailing list for more information and updates

WHEN: November – June

WATCH: Our introductory webinar to find out more

Find out more

Building confidence: a gift for life

Our competitions provide a supportive and engaging opportunity for young people to challenge themselves and build their confidence and speaking skills.

Watch this video to hear first-hand how getting involved in an ESU competition had made a difference to young people.

Sign up here to receive our newsletter full of free resources

keep in touch

FIND OUT MORE

Our competitions give students from all backgrounds the chance to have their voice heard. From debating hot topics or speaking about an issue they are passionate about, to showcasing their Shakespearean talents, our challenges offer a new way to achieve.

Not only do our competitions complement history, politics, English, PSHE and drama lessons, they provide a framework for high-quality activities for students of all ages and abilities. Equipping students with vital oracy skills not only improves their life chances, but can open up a whole world of possibilities and opportunity.

Visit each competition page to find out more about that particular programme and to watch our introductory webinars.

If you have any questions or queries, please email competition@esu.org or call 020 7529 1565.

DISCOVER OUR ORACY RESOURCES

From games to lesson plans, our bank of resources will help you get your class talking

EXPLORE OUR RESOURCES
It’s that great sense of achievement, that they’ve done something really quite challenging

Nicola Clayton Jones

Teacher

World Schools Debating Championship

A group photo of five international secondary school students that comprises of two females and three males standing.

WHAT: The most respected international English-language debating competition

AGE: Students aged 14-19

HOW: Applications open in late August each year

Find out more

Ouse Valley Junior Public Speaking Competition

Three primary school pupils with an older woman standing close together and another older woman sitting in the background.

WHAT: Public speaking competition for Bedfordshire primary schools

AGE: Years 4-5

HOW: Branch-led

Find out more

Essex Junior Public Speaking Workshops & Competitions

A young female primary school pupil standing with a plastic water bottle in her left hand

WHAT: Public speaking workshops and competitions for Essex primary schools

AGE: Year 4

HOW: Branch-led by Colchester & Essex

 

Find out more
Share Page