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Pupils to kick off debating tournament with Commonwealth controversy

20 November 2013 | tagged News release

Pupils from schools across Scotland are gearing up to debate the controversy surrounding the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka in the opening rounds of the Law Society of Scotland's debating tournament.

The Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament will see 128 teams from 83 schools across the country pit their wits and powers of persuasion against each other when they debate the motion 'This House believes that the UK should have boycotted the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting' in the first round heats of the competition.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament is the biggest school debating tournament in Scotland, with 19 schools entering for the first time this year.

Heather McKendrick, Education and Training development Officer at the Law Society, said: "Debating in schools has been on the increase in recent years and more schools are entering teams in the tournament which is really encouraging - it's fantastic to have 19 new schools competing for the first time this year.

"Debating gives young people a chance to consider issues relating to them and a voice to express their views and opinions. It's a great skill to have which as well as being good fun, allows young people to learn how to construct powerful, persuasive arguments which will convince their listeners."

The opening rounds take place on Thursday, 21 November, Wednesday, 27 November and Thursday, 5 December.

The Law Society's debating tournament is sponsored by Hodder Gibson publishing.

All schools participating in the opening heats are listed below:

Schools taking part for the first time are marked *

Name of School

  1. Denny High School
  2. High School of Dundee
  3. Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen
  4. King's Park Secondary, Glasgow
  5. Lanark Grammar School
  6. John Ogilvie High School, Hamilton
  7. Buckhaven High School
  8. Craigmount High School, Edinburgh
  9. Dunfermline High School
  10. St Andrew's Academy
  11. Douglas Academy, Milngavie
  12. Nairn Academy
  13. Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow
  14. Menzieshill High School, Dundee
  15. Balfron High School
  16. Albyn School
  17. George Watson's College, Edinburgh
  18. St Columba's School, Kilmacolm
  19. Duncanrig Secondary School
  20. Abronhill High School, Cumbernauld
  21. High School of Glasgow
  22. St Margaret's School for Girls, Aberdeen
  23. George Heriot's School, Edinburgh
  24. Dunblane High School
  25. Inverkeithing High
  26. Lenzie Academy
  27. Dumbarton Academy
  28. John Ogilvie High School, Hamilton
  29. Strathallan school
  30. The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh
  31. The Community School of Auchterarder
  32. Braes High School, Falkirk
  33. Fernhill School
  34. St Margaret's Academy, Livingston
  35. Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
  36. Dollar Academy
  37. Linwood High School
  38. St Joseph's College, Dumfries
  39. Madras College, St Andrews
  40. Mearns Castle High School, Newton Mearns
  41. Loudoun Academy*
  42. Meldrum Academy, Inverurie
  43. Queensferry High
  44. Holy Cross High School, Hamilton
  45. Deans Community High*
  46. Forfar Academy
  47. Renfrew High School*
  48. Blairgowrie High School*
  49. Coltness High
  50. Whitburn Academy*
  51. Wallace High School, Stirling
  52. The Edinburgh Academy
  53. Shawlands Academy*, Glasgow
  54. Webster's High School, Kirriemuir
  55. Fettes College, Edinburgh
  56. Bannockburn High School*
  57. Our Lady's High School, Motherwell
  58. Kirkcudbright Academy
  59. St. Maurice's High School* Cumbernauld
  60. Banchory Academy
  61. Fraserburgh Academy*
  62. Craigholme School*, Glasgow
  63. The Glasgow Academy
  64. Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry
  65. Bearsden Academy
  66. Linlithgow Academy
  67. Perth High School
  68. Trinity High School, Renfrew
  69. Inverness Royal Academy
  70. Lourdes Secondary, Glasgow
  71. Auchenharvie Academy*
  72. St Aloysius' College, Glasgow
  73. Cumbernauld High School
  74. St Ninian's High School, Giffnock
  75. Thurso High School*
  76. Trinity Academy*, Edinburgh
  77. St Marys-Music-School, Edinburgh
  78. Boclair Academy
  79. Glenalmond College, Perthshire
  80. Moffat Academy
  81. Kelvinside Academy*, Glasgow
  82. Carrick Academy*
  83. Glasgow Gaelic School


Note to editors

Established in 1999, Scotland's largest annual schools debating tournament is open to pupils in all Scottish secondary schools. Organised and run by the Law Society of Scotland, the tournament is dedicated to the memory of the former First Minister Donald Dewar MSP, who died in 2000.

For further information about the tournament, see the Law Society website:



Please contact Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884. Email:

20 November 2013

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