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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’

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By working with us you can help ensure that young people have the speaking and listening skills and cross-cultural understanding they need to thrive

Oracy trainers & mentors

The ESU is currently recruiting Oracy Trainers to help deliver our programmes.

You will be teaching the next generation vital oracy skills. This could be through delivering workshops in Primary and Secondary schools; judging ESU competitions; leading activities and supervising participants during ESU residential programmes. Increasingly, we deliver both in person and online.

Applications for this role are now closed but there are numerous other ways you can get involved as a volunteer.

Role description

IPSC mentors

The ESU International Public Speaking Competition is a celebration of young people’s voices, world-class competition and global cultural exchange as previous years. IPSC mentors are responsible for participants aged 16 – 20 from all over the world, and will be tasked with delivering public speaking training and supporting online enrichment sessions.

Applications for this role are now closed but there are numerous other ways you can get involved as a volunteer.

Schools’ Mace judges

The Schools’ Mace is the oldest and largest debating competition for schools in the United Kingdom. Our judges make sure that students adhere to the guidelines, rank the teams and provide constructive feedback to help debaters improve.

We are currently recruiting for judges. If you have experience of debating in an educational context and an interest in helping young people, then this is an excellent opportunity for paid, part-time, flexible work. Round 1 heats will take place via Zoom and run from 16:30 to 19:00 or 20:00. The rate of pay is £40 per heat. Round 2 onwards will be in person, so we are keen to expand our judging pool geographically.  Being a Schools’ Mace judge is both incredibly rewarding and a chance to develop skills of leadership, facilitation and communication.

Complete the judge training here

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; to support participants during the ESU’s residential Debate Academy and the International Public Speaking Competition, and to travel and deliver workshops around the world.

These are paid roles and the ESU offers full training for each. We also cover the cost of a Child Protection Level 2 qualification and an Enhanced DBS Disclosure for all teaching staff. All roles are a great opportunity to gain practical experience and to share your skills with young people across England and Wales, helping them to improve their communication skills, boosting their confidence and helping them to realise their full potential. By working for us in this way, you are also invited to apply for the ESU’s international debate tours which run every year in countries such as Japan, Denmark and the US. Find out more here.

Debate Tour Oracy Coach

Each year the ESU sends coaches to some of our international ESUs including the US, Romania, Japan, Denmark and Italy. Our coaches are responsible for leading workshops for both students and adults, participating in public debates, helping run competitions and participating in a wide range of cultural exchange activities.

Debate Academy Oracy Coach

Working at the week-long residential programme Debate Academy in August, oracy coaches are responsible for leading workshops, games and activities alongside safeguarding and pastoral duties. 

Applications for this role are now closed but there are numerous other ways you can get involved as a volunteer.

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


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

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