Twentieth Year of the National Gaelic Schools Debate

This year’s marks the twentieth year of the National Gaelic Schools Debate.   The competition started in 1999 and has bene very successful over the years.  The competition gives pupils a chance to showcase their debating skills, and meet other pupils with Gaelic from across Scotland.  

Preparations for this year’s competition are underway and the competition looks to be excellent again this year! The competition will see around 40 pupils from across Scotland travel to compete against each other in Stornoway and in Edinburgh. 

The winners of the 2018 competition, Hannah Macleod and Sandy Morrison from the Nicolson Institute, alongside Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt. Hon Ken Macintosh MSP.

The first two rounds will be held in the Town Hall in Stornoway on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th November 2019. 

16 teams from 13 schools are due to compete in this year’s competition.  All the schools will participate in debates over the two days, with the four teams with the highest points, across the two days, progressing to the final stages which will be held in Edinburgh on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th December 2019.  The final will take place in the Main Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament, ​as part of the Parliament's 20th anniversary commemoration events.  

The Committee welcomes Agnes Rennie, Boyd Robertson and Iain Stephen Morrison as the judges of this year’s competition.   

Evelyn Coull Macleod from the National Gaelic School’s Debate Management Committee, said: “We are very much looking forward to the twentieth year of the National Gaelic Schools Debate, and to welcoming the schools to Stornoway once again.  Following the success of the 2018 Debate which saw Hannah Macleod and Sandy Morrison from The Nicolson Institute emerge as the worthy winners, a high level of competition was set and we look forward to another year of interesting and thought-provoking debates.”

The first round will begin on Tuesday 5th November at 1pm and then again at 6:30pm.  The competition will continue into Wednesday 6th November from 10:30am until 1pm. It will then begin again at 2pm running until 5pm.  The draw for Round One is as follows:


Mallaig Secondary School V Inverness Royal Academy A

Sir E Scott V Bishopbriggs Royal Academy A

Dunoon Academy V Lionacleit School

Nicolson Institute V Glasgow Gaelic School


Gairloch High School A V Ardnammurchan High School

Bishopbriggs Royal Academy B V Portree High School

Seumas Gillespie High School V Gairloch High School B

Inverness Royal Academy B V Castlebay Community School