Watch the final debates of the STV Debating Matters Referendum Schools Debate, Saturday 12 April!

Debating Matters teamed up with STV last year to give secondary school pupils across Scotland the opportunity to debate the big issues in the run up to the referendum on Scottish independence this September.

The Scotland wide competition hosted eight regional preliminary rounds last autumn, and the semi-finals and the final were held at at the University of Glasgow in March, bringing together eight finalists, four debates, a dozen distinguished judges and a large TV production crew. The results of the final debates, and who picked up the winners trophy, have been kept secret but and will be revealed in an hour long programme, ‘Referendum: The Next Generation’ which will be broadcast this Saturday 12 April 2014 at 17:40 on STV, and will later be available on the STV Player.

This unique competition gave school pupils, many of who will be eligible to vote in the referendum on independence, the chance to research and discuss issues which will affect the future of Scotland. STV provided a platform for debates on air and online and Debating Matters provided its challenging format. Special edition Topic Guides were produced on the debate motions which are all freely available for schools across Scotland, and the rest of the UK, to access and use. See a full list of them below:

Currency: “An independent Scotland needs an independent currency”
Monarchy: “Scotland should have an elected head of state”
Nationalism: “Nationalism is an idea that has no place in the 21st century”
NATO: “An independent Scotland should be a member of NATO”
Small Nations: “Scotland has more in common with other small nations than with its neighbour England”
The Referendum Question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Claire Fox, director of the Academy of Ideas, said of the project:

“Debating Matters is delighted to have worked in partnership with STV to provide an intellectually demanding and rigorous platform for students across Scotland to engage in serious discussion of the big philosophical, cultural and political questions relating to Scotland’s future direction, and to debate the key issues around the Scottish Independence referendum. The Academy of Ideas values substance over style and emphasises the complexities beyond the headline and beyond sound-bites, so important when young people are considering something as important as the future of Scotland constitutionally.”

Tune in on 12 April!


For further information about The Referendum Schools Debate please visit the dedicated STV website.

For all press enquiries please contact the STV press office:

Eleanor Marshall
0141 300 3670 / 07803 970 143


Thursday 27 June:
Oxfordshire Championship at Oxford Union, in partnership with Magdalen College School and Oxford Festival of Arts

Friday 5 July:
North East Championship at Durham Sixth Form Centre


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


Bernie Whelan, our DM coordinator, is raising money for Debating Matters. To stage one of our Championships for six to 12 teams costs £6,000. Find out more on Bernie’s Wonderful fundraising page.


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