Pupils from Douglas Academy, the High School of Dundee, Kelvinside Academy and Madras College are preparing for the final of this year’s Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, to be held this Thursday, 15 June.

The debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament will provide a fitting backdrop as the students pit their wits against one another debating the motion, “This house would deny smokers free access to healthcare”.

128 teams entered the first round of the competition back in November and after two further testing heats, just four schools have debated their way to the final, which will be chaired by Presiding Officer Ken MacIntosh.

Pupils from Bo’Ness Academy, Clifton Hall, The James Young High School and Our Lady & St Patrick’s will take part in the floor debate.

Graham Matthews, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Now in its 18th year, we have had yet another fantastic tournament. All of the 128 schools who have taken part in this year’s competition are to be congratulated and the four schools who have reached the final should be incredibly proud of themselves.

“They have come up against some stiff competition and proven themselves as confident and skilled debaters. It’s an honour to host the final in the parliament’s debating chamber and I am very much looking forward to hearing what the students have to say. It will be a memorable experience for everyone involved.”

The winning team will pick up £1,000 donated by the Law Society of Scotland for their school and the runner-up will receive £250 for their school donated by the Glasgow Bar Association. The top two teams will share £500 worth of educational books presented by tournament sponsors Hodder Gibson.

For more information about the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, visit our website or follow @lawscot #DewarDebate on Twitter.

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.