About NDT


In 1988, school debating teams from six nations (Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States) competed in 'the Bicentennial International School Students Debating Championships' in Canberra during celebrations to mark Australia's two-hundredth birthday. Wales first competed in 1991 when the competition, which had also taken place in Canada in 1990, was renamed the World Schools Debating Championships and became an annual event.

That first official WSDC was organised by the English-Speaking Union of Scotland and several national ESUs around the world coordinated, or were closely involved with, their national debating teams for many years. The ESU based in London began selecting and and funding Team England from 1993, and assumed responsibility for Team Wales in 2016 when the Welsh Centre for International Affairs ended their long-standing support for the team. The ESU stepped back from all involvement with WSDC in 2019.

National Debate Team was formed in 2020 to continue, and build on, the proud tradition of England's and Wales's participation in the tournament - and to ensure that both teams are open to the best young debaters in those nations regardless of background or opportunity, by working with schools and teachers to inspire and support all young people, aiming for open access to the chance to debate at a global level and ensuring each team is diverse and representative.

Our board

National Debate Team is managed by a board of trustees who are responsible for the strategic direction and financial management of the charity, as well as all the activities run by Debate England, which oversees the national team for England.

James Probert

Chair of trustees

Andrew Fitch

Chair of Debate England

Gavin Illsley

for the English-Speaking Union

Tom O'Reilly

Richard Robinson

Issy Fidderman

Louis Collier