Join | Donate | Volunteer:


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


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



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


‘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 > Work with us

Check out our latest vacancies and find out more about working with the ESU

Teenage boy in school uniform standing up and speaking on stage, while two other young people sit at the table next to him.

Competitions Leads (multiple vacancies, across England and Wales)

Location: Online and in-person heats across England and Wales

Pay: Zoom heat fee £40 / In-person heat fee £65, plus reasonable travel expenses

Contract: Flexible contract, November 2023 – May 2024

Competition Leads host our competitions including the Schools’ Mace debating, the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition and the Performing Shakespeare Competition. The Competition Leads will be responsible for ensuring the smooth running of heats throughout the competitions with duties including Zoom hosting, MCing, judging and providing constructive feedback to students and teachers. You will also support and provide guidance for our volunteer judges, ensuring they have a positive experience volunteering with the ESU.

For more information about the role, please download the job description and person specification.

How to apply

To apply, please complete this online application form by 29 September 2023.

If you have any questions, please email

Other roles

The ESU is always keen to hear from enthusiastic and experienced teachers, debaters and public speakers to:

  • help us deliver our debating and public-speaking programmes, workshops and competitions
  • support participants during our residential Debate Academy and the International Public Speaking Competition

These are paid roles with training provided. We cover the cost of a Child Protection Level 2 qualification and an Enhanced DBS Disclosure for all teaching staff. These roles are a great opportunity to gain practical experience and to share your skills with young people to improve their communication skills and boosting their confidence so they can realise their full potential. Working for us in this way also means you can can apply for our international debate tours which run every year in countries such as Japan, Denmark and the US. Find out more here.

A teacher explaining a concept while 3 of her students listen to her carefully. There are more pupils a bit far away in the background.


Interested in volunteering for the ESU or applying to be a volunteer judge with us? Then why not out more about our volunteer programme?

A pupil standing and delivering her speech while her teammates watch her and her opponents listen and write down their notes
I took part in ESU competitions throughout school and I really wanted to give back and become a mentor myself

Constance Collard

ESU alumna and oracy trainer & mentor

A student explaining his point of view/giving an answer to a question while his peers listen to him


The ESU is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All appointments are subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks, including a satisfactory Enhanced criminal record with Barred List check through the Disclosure and Barring Service. Read our safeguarding policy here.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring form

The English-Speaking Union is committed to providing equal opportunities in our recruitment process. Completing this form is voluntary and all information you provide will remain confidential, however, it will allow us to assess the diversity of our workforce and ensure equal opportunities for all ESU staff.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring form

Someone picking a pupil to answer his question with many students raising their hands to answer
Share Page