UK Supreme Court launches latest ‘Debate Day programme’ for school pupils

UK Supreme Court launches latest ‘Debate Day programme’ for school pupils

The UK Supreme Court has launched the next round of its ‘Debate Day programme’.

The court welcomes applications from schools and colleges across the UK, giving students a unique opportunity to test their critical thinking and public speaking skills within the setting of the Supreme Court building itself.

Those chosen will work with professional barristers and solicitors who will help them prepare arguments, for and against, on a broad range of subjects, related to cases previously heard by the Supreme Court.

These could include ‘stop and search’, ‘joint enterprise’ or ‘discrimination versus religious freedom’. A third team of students will take on the role of ‘justices’, deciding who should win based on use of evidence, concise arguments and team work.

As part of the visit, participants will also be given a guided tour of the court building, during which they will learn about the separation of powers, the role of the highest court in the land and the constitutional significance of the Supreme Court (as well as having the opportunity to test out the justices’ chairs!). The ‘Debate Day programme’ has been running for over eight years now, with over 1,200 students having participated so far.

Applications are open to pupils of all abilities and subject disciplines from S4 to S6 in Scotland, years 10 to 13 in England and Wales and years 11 to 14 in Northern Ireland.

The programme may be of particular interest to those studying law or politics. There are ten school places available between October 2019 and July 2020. The deadline for teachers to apply is midnight on 22/03/2019.

Photo credit: UK Supreme Court

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