The Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition is a national sixth form debating competition taking place in twelve regions across the UK. Held during the course of an academic year, the competition begins in the autumn term and ends in the summer term.

Applications taken for the next academic year May - early July
We will advertise that applications are being taken for next years competition in early May, with an entry deadline of early July (exact dates vary each year). Schools who secure a place in the competition will be told straight after the entry deadline, before the summer term ends, and well in advance of the new school year the following autumn.

Qualifying Rounds September to December
An evening event hosted by one of the participating schools. Four teams compete in a knock-out competition, with each team being guaranteed a minimum of one, and a maximum of two, debates. The winner of each Qualifying Round will secure a place at a Regional Final. The twelve regions are currently: Central, East, London Inner, London North, London South, North East, North West & North Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland, South East, South, West & South Wales and Yorkshire.

Regional Finals March to April
A day-long event held at a high-profile venue in the region. Six teams take part in a streamed format competition, with each school taking part in up to three debates. The winners of each of the twelve Regional Finals secure themselves a place at the National Final.

National Final late June/early July
A three-day residential event held at a prestigious venue or venues in London. The twelve Regional Final winners compete in a knock-out competition for the title of ‘Debating Matters Champions’.


To see what a Debating Matters debate looks like, see Debate Timing & Structure. Read more about our debate motions and Topic Guides. Throughout the competition year Prizes are awarded.


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© 2014 Debating Matters Competition, Academy of Ideas Ltd, Signet House, 49-51 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JP, UK

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