Raising aspirations

Young people can feel they’re going nowhere, particularly if they can’t see beyond their immediate surroundings.

Debate Mate uses debating to improve academic achievement, increase self-esteem and raise the aspirations of 12–15 year olds from some of the poorest areas of the UK.

How it works

Debating develops skills, improves discipline in school and leads to greater engagement with the world beyond the classroom.

After-school clubs are led by student mentors from some of the UK’s top universities, including Oxford, the LSE, Manchester and Bristol.

Regular interaction with these role models has a positive effect on student attainment and motivation. Debate Mate replaces underachievement with higher expectations.

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Wider world

Over 242 state secondary schools take part in Debate Mate each year, engaging hundreds of students with the world beyond the classroom.

What they learn

Skills that increase prospects:

  • critical reasoning
  • verbal reasoning
  • planning
  • self-expression
  • teamwork
  • social engagement

The power of words

Project partner


Latest News
June 11, 2014Manchester School wins the Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup.
Earlier this week students from Parrs Wood School, Manchester competed against Central Foundation Boys School, North London in the final of the Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup, a competition supported by Born to Be, the bank’s youth engagement programme. Read more

June 27, 2013Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup winners announced
Last night Deutsche Bank hosted the Debate Mate Cup Final in Winchester House. This year, the competition that has been supported by the Bank for a second year, reached a record 2,500 students from UK state secondary schools, engaging them in the technique of debate. Read more

May 01, 2013Debate Mate reaches USA
Learning to debate delivers key 21st century skills that the next generation need to succeed – communication (speaking and listening), interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork and confidence. Read more

March 01, 2013Inspiring debate on climate change
Deutsche Bank employees team up with students from schools in Birmingham and London for debate as part of Earth Week. Read more

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Last Update: April 17, 2015
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