Thank you to all those who competed in Oxford Schools 2012/13. Registration for next year's competition will open at the beginning of September; please visit our new website for more details.

Finals Day:

R1: This House Would Grant An Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants
R2: This House Would Remove Patent Protection On Life-Saving Drugs In Low Income Countries
R3: This House Would Place Significant Decisions On Environmental Protection In The Hands Of Scientific Experts Rather Than Democratic Bodies
R4: This House Would Require All Religions To Allow Women To Ascend To Their Highest Ranks
GF: This House Opposes The Funding And Arming Of The Syrian Rebels By Western Nations

Congratualtions to Eton ET for winning the Grand Final and to Harry Elliott for topping the speaker tab. Tabs are attached below.

The Oxford Union Society's annual schools' competition is the largest British Parliamentary schools level competition in the world. Our aim is to make debating accessible to as many schools as possible, whilst maintaining the prestige and competitiveness of the title, and aim we have pursued now for 18 years (see our archive). We invite over a thousand schools to participate every year and last year had over 700 teams competing. The competition is open to students of all ages. We've seen Year 11 Grand Finalists and Year 10s reaching finals day, although most competitors are in 6th Form.

The Oxford Union offers bursaries to those schools that, because of their financial situation, would not otherwise be able to participate in the competition. These bursaries range from a waiver of the entry fee, to a small grant to help with the costs of attending, such as transport costs. There are a limited number of bursaries available, and these are awarded at the sole discretion of the convenors. In order to apply for a bursary, the bursary box should be checked on the entry form, and further details will be made available. 
More money than ever is available this year for bursaries.

We are continuing to make available for purchase a Guide to Schools Debating, priced at £7.99 + P & P. The guide is written by two of Oxford's most experienced debaters, George Molyneaux and Jonathan Bailey, and is an excellent introduction to debating, a useful coaching aid and a highly incisive reference for the more advanced debater. To purchase the guide please go to Guidebooks

The competition itself is split into several stages:

1. The Workshops 

Usually at around the start of December or in January, teams of Oxford debaters travel around the country giving debating workshops at schools that kindly agree to host these. Normally, we provide one workshop in each region, and allow schools to bring up to ten students (including the team they are entering) and a member of staff. The workshops are aimed to be useful to all levels of debating and we would urge even those debaters who consider themselves 'advanced speakers' to attend. Workshops normally last for a couple of hours and are not compulsory to attend.

2. The Regional Rounds 

Perhaps the largest component of the overall competition, the regional rounds take place across the UK and Ireland. Each school is placed in a region geographically and the rounds are hosted by a local school. These rounds involve competing in two debates (with 15 minutes preparation time- 'short prep'), after which the judges will send the top teams forward to Finals' Day. Detailed feedback is normally given in the hope that everyone, whether they get through or not, will have found the experience useful, and be able to use it to improve their debating. 

3. The National Final - 9th March 2013

Held in Oxford in March, the Finals' Day takes place at the Oxford Union. We invite around 88 (subject to total registration numbers) of the best teams from the UK, Ireland and Canada to compete for the title. In previous years, teams from further afield have found it necessary to travel down the day before the competition and stay overnight in Oxford in one of the guesthouses within the city.

Jane Cahill,
13 Mar 2013 13:11
Jane Cahill,
13 Mar 2013 13:11