Competition stages

The Concern Debates competition runs for several months and is completed over a number of stages. Every year, more than 100 schools argue their motions in the hope of being our next debating champions.

Engaging young people with social justice issues is empowering for the teacher and the learner and brings a real sense of energy to the classroom and to the school environment.

Sorcha Mellon - Teacher

Current stage

We have now entered the quarter-final stage of the Debates programme 2019-2020. Eight schools out of over 160 who participated this year will debate for a place in the semi-finals.

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Change debate date

If you wish to change the time and date for your debate, please contact the opposing school first and confirm a date that suits you both before filling in the following form. Please note that we cannot guarantee all changes. Please complete the form at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date.

St Kilian's German School winners at the Concern Debate Finals. Photo: Ruth Medjber.
St Kilian's German School winners at the Concern Debate Finals. Photo: Ruth Medjber.

Stages explained

Here are the several stages of the Concern Debates.

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Registration

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Registration for the Concern Debates usually begins around the summer holidays. By registering, you are not guaranteed a place. A Concern Debates staff member will be in touch to let you know if your application is successful. At the start of every debate phase, the dates and venues for the coming year are announced once teams have registered.

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League phase

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Playoff round

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Knockout round

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Quarter-finals

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Semi-finals

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National final

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Debate final 2019

The 2019 finalists argued whether "China in Africa is more monster than messiah".

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