Pupils from 32 teams from schools across Scotland are through to the second stage of the Law Society of Scotland’s national debating tournament. The winning teams successfully put forward their arguments to the motion, ‘This House would introduce compulsory National Civic Service for all 15 and 16 year olds’.

The annual Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament is now in its 21st year and is the biggest competition of its kind in Scotland, with 64 teams putting their powers of persuasion to the test in the opening round.

Lyndsey Thomson, Careers and Outreach Coordinator at the Law Society, said: “We’ve had an excellent start to this year’s Donald Dewar Debating Tournament with high standards of debating being demonstrated in the first round. It’s great to see that one of the successful teams is from a school taking part in the competition for the first time.

“Many schools now have debating clubs and they really encourage pupils to learn how to build convincing arguments and give them a voice to express their views and opinions. Debating is a great skill to have and it’s been really encouraging to see so many schools entering teams in the tournament this year.”

Second-round heats will take place in January and the semi-finals will be held in early spring before the grand final in June.

The Law Society awards first place a prize of £1,000, and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.

If you have experience of debating and would be interested in getting involved as a judge, please contact debate@lawscot.org.uk. Further information about judging in the tournament can also be found at www.lawscot.org.uk/debating. The second-round heats will take place on Thursday 23 and Tuesday 28 January.

Winning team 1

Winning team 2

Best Floor Speech

Albyn School

Simi Ogedengbe & Rachel Gallagher

Banchory Academy

Josei McGarvey & Yasmin Shiels

Theo Goke-Dabiri

Albyn School

St Columba’s High School

Keira Bayne & Grace Dewar

Grove Academy

Charlotte Rome & Iris Nicoll

Keira Bayne

St Columba’s High School

Kinross High School

David Cormack & Freya Corcoran

Balfron High School

Curtis McLerie & Finn Thompson


The Mary Erskine School

Emily Couper & Jessica Smith

Peebles High School

William Adams & Mari Kiniham

Lachlan Mackay

Forrester High School

Broxburn Academy

Meg Wishart & Ruby Ferguson

Clifton Hall School

Jack Bamber & Toby Appleyard

Joseph Scott

Kelvinside Academy

Uddingston Grammar School

Andrew Halyburton & Euan O’Curry

Hamilton Grammar School

Laura Ford & Faith Downie

Harry Mackle

St Andrew’s & St Bride’s School

Clydebank High School *

Amelia Dalziel & Michael Newman

Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School

Eve Shiels & Aidan Lynn

Clydebank High School

Eve McDougall-Page

Douglas Academy

Chloe Beardsley & Orla Vennard

St Andrew’s Academy

Kate Quinn & Lucy Halliday



Thurso High School

Aidan Urquhart &Ross Dunbar

Fortrose Academy

Edie Matthewson & Thomas Fox

Kyle Leavesley

Thurso High School

Meldrum Academy

Kabelo Kepadisa & Amelia Patterson

St Margaret’s School for Girls

Liberty Mountain & Eleanor Burnett-Stuart

Emily Keith

Meldrum Academy

Stirling High School

Heather Cook & Japjeet Sond

Strathallan School

Chloe McMichael & Magnus Moody

Amy Wilson

Stirling High School

The Royal High School

Emma Shopland & Laura Young

Craigmount High School

Freddie Simmonet-Lefevre & Kiran Bodasing



The High School of Glasgow

Doaa Shabir & Sophia Alvi

Rosshall Academy

Sophie Crawford & Leia Mciloy

Leia Mciloy

Rosshall Academy

Wellington School

Meera Mohankrishnan & Anubha Bal

Biggar High School

Coll McCail & Fin Laing

Emma Stevenson

Wellington School

Duncanrig Secondary School

Erin Stewart & Ross Cooper

Holy Cross High School

Holly Biggar & Kittie Maslanka


Bearsden Academy

Fraser Stevenson & Matthew Burke

Williamwood High School

Aribah Chaudhry & Mia McLuskie

Ali Pagganwalla

Woodfarm High School

Flip calendar

How the debate works

Learn about the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament format, rules and timescales.