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 arm the police’.

The annual Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament is now in its 23rd year and is the biggest high school debating tournament in Scotland, with 63 schools being represented including 10 schools competing for the first time. This is the second year that it has been held virtually and, with no need for pupils to travel, the selection process for this year’s heats was fully randomised, enabling schools from across Scotland to compete against one another.

Georgia Turnbull, Careers and Outreach Coordinator at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament return for its 23rd consecutive year. The opening nights saw thoughtful and convincing arguments proposed on both sides and it was great to see 10 new schools confidently competing for the first time. Depending on Scottish Government guidelines, we are hoping we may be able to hold a hybrid of virtual and in person debates over the course of the tournament.

“The success of the event is in no small part due to the efforts of our chairpersons; and thanks too to the debate coaches and the judges who had the tough task of deciding which teams made it to round two.”

The second round will take place in January, with further rounds in the spring. The winning team will win £1,000 for their school and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.

All schools through to round two are listed below:
32 of the original 64 teams have qualified for the second-round heats. Schools taking part for the first time are marked **.

  • Albyn School
  • Balfron High School
  • Bearsden Academy
  • Bishopbriggs Academy
  • Broxburn Academy
  • Creiff High School**
  • Dunfermline High School
  • Farr High School
  • Fortrose Academy
  • George Heriot's School
  • George Watson's College
  • Glasgow Gaelic School
  • High School of Glasgow
  • Hutchesons School
  • Jordanhill                
  • Kelvinside Academy
  • King’s Park Secondary
  • Kyle Academy**
  • Lathallan School                                                    
  • Lochgelly High
  • Monifeith High School**
  • Our Lady and St Patrick
  • Peebles High School
  • Perth Academy                    
  • Saint Matthew's Academy, Saltcoats**
  • St Margaret’s School for Girls (Team 1)
  • St Margaret's School for Girls (Team 2)
  • Strathallan
  • The Royal High School
  • Thurso High School
  • Uddingston Grammar School
  • Wellington School

Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament

This year, our annual schools debating tournament will see 64 teams from across Scotland enter the first round, with just one team crowned the winner at the grand final.