Debate Days

Student debate days

The Supreme Court has now launched its Debate Day programme, which in response to the restrictions caused by COVID-19 will be run virtually.

We successfully piloted this programme over the summer and are now able to offer this option to schools and colleges.

Using the Microsoft Teams platform, students are able to interact with a professional lawyer who coaches them into presenting and judging a debate question centred around a previous UKSC case. Successful applicants are offered a choice of debate questions based around UKSC cases, for example:

'Should you be allowed to deny a service or assistance on the grounds of your religious beliefs?'

The students are sent a pack with further information about that topic and relevant cases. The teacher should then split the students into are three teams, FOR, AGAINST and JUDGES. The judges decide who wins the debate, based on how concise their arguments were, use of evidence from the pack (plus their own research) and good teamwork within the group.

Each group will be assigned their own professional lawyer as a coach on the day. In the past we have had coaches from Government departments, from solicitors’ offices and barristers’ chambers.

After the debate, there will be an opportunity for a question and answer session with all the coaches.


  • Between 12-20 students to participate
  • Students and teachers to have Microsoft Teams (this is now a standard part of MS Office and if not, you can get updates)
  • The teacher will be responsible for inviting a member of UKSC staff plus the lawyer coaches into several different 'meetings'.
  • Agree with your students on a topic.
  • To organise students into FOR, AGAINST and JUDGE'S teams.

We aim for the whole event to take around three hours.

Applications for Debate Days will open on Monday 21st September and close on Friday 16th October. Sessions will start this Autumn and go into the Spring of 2021.

If you are interested in taking part then please send the name of your school, your contact details; a short statement (no more than 100 words please) as to why you think your students would benefit from this programme and which month/s would suit you best.

Applications must be made by teachers from accredited teaching institutions (schools or colleges) for the following year groups:

  • Years 12 to 13 in England Wales
  • Years 12 to 14 in Northern Ireland
  • S5 and S6 students in Scotland

For more information please contact quoting 'Debate Day'.