School Debates

The Leeds Salon runs an annual school debating competition for years 10&11 pupils, as well as competitions for sixth-forms and colleges.

For all competitions, we use the format of the sixth-form Debating Matters competition, for whom we’re also ‘Judging Partners’ – helping to run DM events in the north of England.

Since 2016, we’ve also presented The Leeds Salon Individual Prize at the Debating Matters Yorkshire Regional Final to the individual who best exemplifies the spirit of Enlightenment inquiry.

For our competitions we rely on our growing list of Salon Judges, without whose help none of this would be possible.

If your school, college or company and would like help running your own debating competition, or would like to take part in our annual years 10&11 competition, please contact us at: contact@leedssalon.org.uk


Annual Years 10&11 Debating Competition

Our annual Years10&11 school debating competition was was first held in 2014 as a one-off event for pupils aged 14-16 years as part of the Headingley Festival of Ideas. From 2015, we expanded the competition to include qualifying rounds to involve more Leeds schools to win a place in the final, previously held each spring at the HEART Centre, Headingley.

For 2022, we are pleased to announce that leading local law firm Switalskis Solicitors, who have been Event Sponsors of the final since 2016, are the new Headline Partners of the competition, making it:

The Switalskis / Leeds Salon Years 10&11 Debating Competition 2022


The Qualifying Rounds
took place in January and February to win a place in The Final, which takes place at new Venue Partner Thackray Medical Museum on Wednesday 30th March.

Years 10&11 Finals: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2022


The Tetley Years 10&11 Debating Competition

From 2016 to 2020, Leeds Salon ran the Tetley debating competition for years 10&11 pupils from south and central Leeds schools. As well as competing to be crowned Tetley Champions, the winners would go on to compete in the final of the Headingley FoI Years 10&11 competition against the north Leeds qualifying round winners.

2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020


Other competitions we’ve run:

Lawnswood School Summer Competition in 2014; the Ralph Thoresby School Debating Competition as part of Headingley LitFest in 2015; Jordans Solicitors Wakefield Sixth-Form Competition in 2015 & 2016; the first ever competition between Leeds City College & Leeds College of Building in 2016; Lightcliffe Academy (Halifax) Summer Sixth-Form Competition in 2016; South Leeds Academy Christmas Debating Competition in 2016; ‘Debate Outwood’ sixth-form competition in 2017 involving schools from the Outwood Grange Academy chain; Gateacre School (Liverpool) Sixth-Form Debate in 2017; the NHS Digital/Debating Matters Sixth-Form Competition at Thackray Medical Museum in 2018; the first ever Bolton Sixth-Form College Debating Competition in 2019; and the second ‘Debate Outwood’ competition in 2019, this time for years 10&11 students.