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.

Applications for Team England and Team Wales for WSDC 2019 are now closed.

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 ESU selects and manages the participation of Team England and Team Wales. Please note that there are minimum thresholds for traditionally underrepresented groups at various stages of the selection process. You can read more about that here.

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 Championship will take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 23rd July– 2nd August 2019.

Support the Teams

Team England:

A huge congratulations went to Team England in 2018. Consisting of of Arthur James (Eton College), Rachel Tait (St Paul's Girls' School), Benjamin Joe (Dulwich College) and Edward Bracey (Eton College) and the Team Captain Hannah Taylor (Tiffin Girls' School), the team came third overall.

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

Team Wales:

We are very proud of Isabel Jones (Cardiff Sixth Form College), Vaishnavi Sabarigirivasan (Cardiff Sixth Form College), Huw Jones (Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg), Bronwen Lloyd (Cardiff Sixth Form College) and the Team Captain Sheikh Srijon (UWC Atlantic College) who represented Wales in the WSDC 2018 Competition.

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

We’re looking for a new Coach and a new Assistant Coach to support Team Wales in their training ahead of the World Schools Debating Championships in 2019.

If you are interested in applying for one of these special roles, please read the full job description in the resources section at the bottom of the page.

Apply by emailing your CV and explaining why you think you'd be perfect for the role to


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
Job Description - Team Wales Oracy Coach 2019
Job Description - Team Wales Oracy assistant 2019