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

The Concern Debates has finished for this season, but we will soon prepare to launch our 2019–2020 league. Get in touch if you would like us to contact you when registration opens for this league.

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. 

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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