STV has teamed up with Debating Matters to give secondary school pupils in the Western Isles the opportunity to debate the big issues in the run up to the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.
The Scotland wide competition will be open to secondary five and six pupils in the Western Isles who will have a chance to compete with other schools in their local authority area in preliminary rounds this summer.
From November 2013 the winners of the preliminary rounds will take part in eight regional heats, followed by the semi-finals held in Aberdeen, and the final at STV’s Glasgow studios in spring 2014.
The unique competition will give 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 will provide a platform for debates and cover the competition on air and online. Debating Matters will produce special editions of Topic Guides on the motions for debate.
As well as engaging with the important issues and arguments around the referendum, students will have the opportunity to interact with leading figures at STV and opinion formers from all walks of life who will be judging the young debaters.
Tony Gilland, director of the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters competition, said: “Debating Matters provides an intellectually demanding and rigorous platform for S5 and S6 students to engage in serious discussion of the big questions facing society. Debating Matters is delighted to be working with STV to deliver the Referendum Debate to schools and to encourage young Scots to debate the key issues around the Scottish Independence referendum and Scotland’s future direction.”
For further information about the debating competition please visit www.stv.tv/debate.