My partner was absolutely brilliant both in terms of guidance and support but also as an example of how debating should be conducted.
– Pupil competitor


The St Andrew’s Day Tournament sees school pupils compete in a day-long tournament, culminating in a Grand Final in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

The St Andrew’s Day Debating Tournament is supported by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.

Held annually at The Scottish Parliament this competition pairs pupils from different schools to compete in a day-long tournament, culminating in a Grand Final in the main Debating Chamber.

This competition allows pupils from 48 schools all over Scotland to compete and teams are mentored by university debaters. Teachers believe this to be a really valuable experience especially picking up tips and advice from working with experienced debaters and their mentors.

The event is designed to provide the maximum educational impact, especially for novice debaters. Pupils are also involved in chairing and timekeeping for the debates,on the judging panels, and contributing to the floor debates. Another teacher explains, For both our debater and supporters, the skills witnessed from other schools and especially the university pupils were of great benefit to them.

The competition is open to S3-S6 pupils, and younger pupils may attend as supporters. There may be an opportunity for younger pupils to get involved on the day.

Schools can enter pupils as debaters, judges and chairs.

The Scottish Parliament is delighted to host the St Andrew’s Day Debate. It is a great opportunity for young people from across Scotland to express their views on the issues that affect them, and hone their debating skills in our chamber.

– The Scottish Parliament’s Deputy Presiding Officer, Christine Grahame MSP


This year, the St Andrew’s Day Debating Tournament will be taking place on Monday, 30th November 2020.

Due to the current COVID situation, we are unable to hold this Tournament in the Scottish Parliament as we would normally do. Instead, the competition will be run online, using Microsoft Teams.

This year we’ll also be teaming up with the Fair Saturday Foundation to bring some young Spanish debaters to the Tournament- making it international for the very first time.

If you’re interested in taking part in this year’s Tournament and would like an entry form, please email

Listen to the final of the 2019 Debate here:

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