Competition Stages

The Concern Debates competition runs for several months and is completed over a number of stages. Every year, more than 120 schools argue their motions in the hope of being our next debating champions.

From September - December each school will have three online debates. 

In January the top 64 schools will progress to the knockout stages of the programme. The knockout stages will continue online for four more rounds. 

The Semi finals will take place in person in a neutral venue organised by the Concern Debates team in April 2023.

The final will take place in Dublin on May 4th 2023. 

Stages explained

Here are the several stages of the Concern Debates.


Registration for the Concern Debates usually begins before schools close for the summer holidays and continues into early September. Please note that completing the registration form does not automatically guarantee a place on the programme. A Concern Debates staff member will be in touch to let you know if your application is successful. Then your Debates journey can begin!

League Phase

Knockout Stage

Quarter Finals

Semi Finals

National Finals

Concern Staff Christina at the Concern Debate Finals. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.

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