Two girls and a boy smile as they hold their awards after winning the Concern  Primary Schools Debate Final 2022Two girls and a boy smile as they hold their awards after winning the Concern  Primary Schools Debate Final 2022Two girls and a boy smile as they hold their awards after winning the Concern  Primary Schools Debate Final 2022

Primary school debates

Primary school debates

The Concern Primary Debates is a fun educational programme aimed at senior primary students.

The Concern Primary Debates are run in conjunction with Education Support Centres across Ireland, and this year the debates will run both online and in person. We have free downloadable resources to get your class started below.

The Concern Primary Debates is open to senior primary classes. To see what the Concern Primary Debates is all about, check out the video of our final below!

To sign up: Please note that all registrations are handled by Education Support Centres - not Concern Worldwide. Please see below for participating centres to register your team.  

If you have any questions, please contact us at and a Concern member of staff will be in touch with further information.

Concern Primary Debates Explainer 2022

Check out our video which will guide you through the Concern Primary Debates Programme!

Primary Debates Resources

Download our free Concern Primary Debates resources to help you get started. Please note that the handbook was written pre social distancing, but is still a great guide to get your students involved.

Victory for Ardfield NS from West Cork

200 primary schools took part in the Concern Primary Debates from October 2021 - June 2022, and Clonakilty in West Cork is celebrating after its primary school pupils won the first face-to-face Concern Primary Debates Final, held in the Camden Court Hotel on June 16th.

Pupils from Ardfield NS in Clonakilty, Cork claimed victory in the final in front of an audience of 100 people of teachers, pupils and special guest including representatives from Concern Worldwide and Irish Aid. The event was also streamed live on YouTube

The 2021- 2022 champions successfully argued for the motion that “Ireland is doing its fair share to make the world a better place” in their clash with St Francis Xavier NS, Blanchardstown. 

The team members for St Francis Xavier NS were: 

Julia Sendlak (Captain)
Cassie Ward 
Tessa Rycraft
Finley Cherry Maguire
Emilia Ahern
Amelie Carew

Team Mentor: Adrienne Darby

The team members for Ardfield NS were: 

Michael O Donovan (Captain)
Andrea Whelton 
Lily Hayes 

Team Mentor: Tara Maguire 

Well done to all involved for their time and dedication. A thank you is also extended to the timekeepers, researchers and chairpersons for the various debates leading to the wonderful final. 

Motions 2021/22

Below are the motions for the 2021/2022 academic year to give you an idea of the types of topics covered by the Concern Primary Debates. Please note that most motions will be about development issues or the work of Concern. Your local centre will advise you on which motions you are debating and whether your team will be proposing or opposing the motion. Stay tuned for the 2022/23 motions!

Once a champion has been crowned from each education centre in February, schools will be entered into the National stages of the competition and new motions will be provided.

  • TikTok has done more harm than good for young people’s confidence - linking to SDG 3 
  • Sustainable cities should have free, regular public transport available to everyone – linking to SDG 9 and SDG11 
  • We need to pay more for our clothes to fight fast fashion – linking to SDG 12 and SDG 13 
  • Shopping local must become the new normal – linking to SDG11, SDG 8, SDG12 and SDG 13 
  • Billionaires should not go to space - linking to SDG 1 and SDG 10 
  • Sports stars are bad role models for children  - linking to SDG 3

Introductory video

Watch the video below for a quick introduction to the Primary School Debates and see all the benefits it has to offer students.

Two girls and a boy smile as they hold their awards after winning the Concern  Primary Schools Debate Final 2022
Winners of the Concern Primary Schools Debate Final 2022, Michael O Donovan (11), Andrea Whelton (12) and Lily Hayes (11) from Ardfield National School, Clonakilty, Co. Cork Photo: Karen Morgan/Concern Worldwide
Six children show off their medals
Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman, with the St Francis Xavier SNS, Blanchardstown, debating team. Pictured from left: Cassie Ward; Tessa Rycraft; Julia Sendlak (Captain); Finley Cherry Maguire; Emilia Ahern; and Amelie Carew. Photo: Karen Morgan/Concern Worldwide
Samira, an internally displaced person, with two of her children, in Pouytenga. Photo: Jean-Paul Ouedraogo/Concern Worldwide

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