This website is for last year's competition. Registration for the 2013-14 competition is now open; please visit our new website for more details.
What is debating?
In short, debating is just arguing - but with rules! The aim in a debate is to be the most persuasive team. This will involve having the best, most analysed arguments, the most engaging style and more engaging rhetoric than anyone else in the debate. If you've spent years honing your arguing skills against your parents, siblings and friends then debating is the activity for you!
How does Oxford Schools' work?
Once you (or your teacher) register your team will be invited to attend a regional round in your local area. Here you will be pitted against other teams from your local area, debating in the British parliamentary format for two rounds, after which the best teams will be asked to attend the finals' day. Finals' day is on the 10th March 2012, where the best teams from across Britain and the world will debate in four rounds until the best four teams compete in the final to be crowned Oxford Schools' champion 2012!
What is British Parliamentary format?
British parliamentary (or 'BP') is, as the name suggests, loosely based around the debating style in Westminster. In each debate there are four teams, two in proposition (for the motion) and two in opposition (against the motion). Although both teams are on the the same side, they are technically competing against each other and so do not work together.
At the Oxford Schools' competition, all speeches will be 5 minutes in length. All motions will be announced 15 minutes in advance of the debate starting. In that time members of the teams may only speak to one another, and may only refer to printed materials (e.g. newspapers, books) for reference. The use of any electronic item is banned.
For more information on the roles of individual speakers and teams in BP format, as well as useful information on dealing with motions, please refer to
For Teachers: Hosting a Regional
Oxford Schools' relies on the help of teachers, not just in helping the teams to prepare and taking them to rounds but in hosting our regional rounds. We are therefore incredibly grateful to everyone who hosts a regional round and try to make it as easy as possible - please refer to this guide for any questions you may have and please don't hesitate to contact us with any queries.