Great Debate 2016
Great Debate 2016

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UK wide: please select a region when registering interest
Event description


How did the First World War affect me and my community?

Who can take part?
The Great Debate is a public-speaking competition for students aged between 16-19 years in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. 

Why the Great Debate?
The competition is an ideal opportunity for your students to gain valuable experience in speaking to an audience and developing their debating skills. It is a well-known fact that debating skills raise young people's confidence and self-esteem.

The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize, membership to the Historical Association, and their school will win prizes from our sponsors. All finalists will also receive prizes.

The Debate
This year’s Great Debate questions is: How did the First World War affect me and my community?

The entrant can choose to talk about anything to do with the First World War and explain how and why it has made an impact on their personal lives and/or their local, social, cultural, religious, ethnic (or other) community. They will have a maximum of five minutes to present their case and then field questions from the judges.

The Great Debate is divided into heats that take place across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland this autumn, culminating in a Grand Final in London in spring 2017.

10-12 schools can take part per heat, however, we may add a second heat in your area if there is significant interest. Please see tickets available for information on where heats are being held. 

If there is not a suitable heat near you, get in touch and we can look into organising a heat in your area. The viability of a heat depends on interest from other schools in the local area.

The exact number of heats are still being confirmed, and more details will be released shortly.

What do I do next?
To register your school’s interest, please select the region in which you would like to compete and select one ticket as we are just gauging interest at this stage. There is no charge for entering the competition. As a general rule we only accept one candidate per school depending on interest in the local area. Sixth form colleges may be able to field up to four candidates, to enquire please contact Maheema Chanrai on the email address below.

Further details about the Great Debate can be found here.

We also suggest that schools hold their own heats and only put forward their best student for the regional rounds. Candidates are of an exceptionally high calibre. To view previous winners of the Great Debate click here.

Please contact our Education and Events Officer, Maheema Chanrai at, if you have any questions. 

We do hope that your school will be able to take part in this competition and look forward to hearing from you.

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