Discover your voice with ESU Scotland

Our partners

A unique educational charity and membership organisation dedicated to helping people realise their potential through giving them the skills and confidence in communication to articulate their ideas and share them with others.

Our vision is to provide people in Scotland and internationally with communications skills, confidence and opportunities to engage in an exchange of ideas and opinions. We believe that good communication and cultural exchange is essential to individual, community and global development and understanding. Education is at the very heart of our work.

Central to our mission is a commitment to working with schools and young people to narrow gaps in opportunity and assist in closing the poverty-related attainment gap.



Lockdown Debating Materials

As part of our Speak up Scotland programme, the ESU Scotland has put together materials to help teachers, pupils and parents keep debating during this lockdown period.​

You can find these materials on this page, and we’ll also be updating our blog regularly with posts, videos and exercises.

Debating During Lockdown: A Guide for Teachers
Debating During Lockdown: A Guide for Teachers
Intuitions, Examples and Analogies

News & Events…

New Successor Charity- Young Speakers Scotland

Young Speakers Scotland is a new charity, established as a successor organization to the English-Speaking Union Scotland.

Building on the work of the ESU, Young Speakers Scotland’s purpose is to advance and promote the education and communication skills of children and young people in Scotland, particularly from disadvantaged circumstances, in order to lessen the poverty-related attainment gap and increase the employability of young people.

Find out more information here.

St Andrew’s Day 2020 Results

On Monday, November 30th we hosted the 14th Annual St Andrew’s Day Debating Tournament. This event saw schools from around Scotland compete in a series of exciting debates on a variety of topics, judged by their peers and volunteers from Scottish universities. While the final of this event usually takes place in the Scottish Parliament’s Debates Chamber, this year the event took place online.

Joe Jones and Mia MacGillivray (Portree High School) being
Lucy Halliday and Kate Quinn (St Andrew’s Academy, Paisley)
Best Speaker:
Saoirse Gaston (St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm)
Best Pupil Judge:
Kaitlyn Amott (Banchory Academy)

2020/2021 Competitions & Events

Public Speaking Competition

The ESU’s Public Speaking Competition is our long-running persuasive speaking competition.

We’ve partnered with the U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh this year to deliver a programme focused on international relations and the bonds between Scotland and the United States.

This year we’ll be running this competition online. More information here.

Schools’ Mace Debating Competition

The ESU Mace is one of Scotland’s most prestigious debating competitions. Schools around Scotland compete for the winning title and a chance to represent Scotland at the International Mace.

This year we’ll be running this competition online. More information here.

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