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CONTACT LIST FOR REGIONAL ORGANISERS North West Region Ian Bateman Dalewood, 586 Chester Road Sandiway, Northwich Cheshire, CW8 2DX 01606 882433

North East Region Ellen Coles 7 Innholmes Lane Tadcaster North Yorkshire, LS24 9HF 01937 832120

Wales Charles Middleton The Gables, 25 Talbot Close Talbot Green, Pontyclun Rhondda-Cynon-Taf CF72 8AS

East Region Steve Roberts 7 Church Street Empingham Rutland, LE15 8PN 01780 460777

Midlands Region John Quibell-Smith Fairfields, Worcester Road Hanley Swan, Worcester WR8 0EA 01684 310578

London Éamon Chawke ESU Speech and Debate Dept Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street London, W1J 5ED 020 7529 1574

South and South West Region Ros Foot 12 Mansell Copse Walk Exeter EX2 5GU 01392 201446

South East Region Anthony Harris 16 Gainsborough House Eaton Gardens Hove, BN3 3UA

SUPPORTING THE PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS 2011-12 Started in 1960, the public speaking competition for schools has become a high-profile forum for the promotion of effective spoken English by young people. Participation in the competition enables students to gain confidence, fluency of speech and valuable presentation skills.  

For teams of three students from key stage 4 (secondary years 10 to 11). Each team member takes one role: chairperson, speaker or questioner. The competition uses a non-confrontational format. The questioner's role is to question the speaker and attempt to illicit more information, giving the speaker the opportunity to expand upon the points made in the speech. The competition starts in the late part of the autumn term, regional finals are completed by mid-spring term and the finals take place around Easter.

In addition to being an exciting competition for the team, the model achieves targets set by the PLTS framework as well as a wide range of National Curriculum key concepts across the subject areas.

Organisation The competition is a jointly organised by the National Coordinator at Dartmouth House and the public speaking organisers in each ESU branch/region. The National Coordinator publicises the competition to schools on a national scale, receives entries from schools, produces the competition materials, set the topics and liaises with the branch and regional organisers. The National Coordinator also organises the UK Final. The National Coordinator at Dartmouth House is: Éamon Chawke T: 020 7529 1574 Branch organisers run the first round heats and/or the branch finals. Regional organisers run the regional finals. The name and contact details of your Regional Organiser are on page 2. Branch and regional organisers can be a single ESU committee member or a team of committee members. They are responsible for publicising the competition to schools in their branch area, providing support and information to the entrant schools, organising the first round heats and/or branch finals (finding a venue, organising catering, organising adjudicators etc.) and liaising with the National Coordinator at Dartmouth House (providing feedback, communicating the results to Dartmouth House etc.).

Entry The competition is open to schools in England and Wales only. Entry is coordinated by the National Coordinator. Schools register for the competition via the ESU website ( Payment is also received by the National Coordinator. Each year, some schools will contact their local ESU branch about the competition. These schools should be referred to the National Coordinator or directly to the ESU website and should register and pay for the competition as normal.

Speech and Debate Competition Handbook for Schools The ESU has produced the Speech and Debate Competition Handbook for Schools, which contains valuable information such as the rules of the public speaking competition, details on the format of the competition and guidance for teachers/coaches, students and adjudicators. The handbook is available to download from the ESU website. Please read the public speaking section of


the handbook in advance of the competition. Amendments have been made to the rules, the adjudication guidelines and the mark scheme in the new edition of the handbook.

Support Each year, the National Coordinator hosts a branch organisers’ evaluation meeting where the organisation of the competition at all levels, as well as other issues pertaining to the competition, is discussed. The evaluation meeting is usually held at Dartmouth House shortly after the UK final in May. Attendance at the evaluation meeting is useful and informative, but not compulsory. Many schools enter every year. If you are a long-standing supporter of the competition you will most likely have personal affiliations with certain schools or teachers. This is very valuable, but you must be careful not to make new entrants feel that there is any element of favouritism or exclusivity to be gained from having entered before. The Public Speaking Competition for Schools is open to all schools and teaching institutions in the UK, and all entrants receive an equal chance of success. The ESU is keen to increase the numbers of schools entering the competition in all areas and there are a number of methods which can be utilised, at branch level, in the pursuit of this goal. You can email or write to the schools in your area or your local ESU branch could offer to sponsor a school’s entry to encourage participation. There will be a message on the website warning schools that when the registration deadline has passed, it will be at the branch organiser’s discretion to accept a late entry or not. You should accept a new school in preference to a second team for a school already entered. Organisers must not allow teams who do not satisfy the entry criteria to compete (e.g. if all team members are not in Years 10 or 11).

Prizes awarded The prizes awarded will vary from branch to branch and the awards are at the discretion of the branch organiser. The following are the list of prizes which are typically awarded: winning team, runner up, best chairperson, best speaker, best questioner and best personality OR outstanding personality. A winning team and a runner up must be selected at all rounds of the competition (the runners up are also the reserve team and will progress to the next stage of the competition if the winning team is unable to compete for any reason). Individual awards are a great way to reward individual members of the team who deserve recognition but whose team performance does not merit the award of winning team or runner up.

Running a round A suggested plan for branch organisers: 1. Receive information from Dartmouth House in the autumn term (including the list of schools that have entered in your area – this may include schools from neighbouring areas where there is no competition) 2. Check the ESU website for any additional information and materials you need (the handbook, cheque requisition forms, mark sheets, time sheets, recording permission forms etc.) and request any extra materials you need from Dartmouth House by contacting the National Coordinator. 3. Decide when you want to hold the round(s) and organise venues. Some branches prefer the autumn term, others the spring term. Branch rounds should be finished by mid-February and the regional finals should be finished by mid-late March. Please inform the National Coordinator of the dates of your first round heats and/or branch finals and regional finals as soon as the dates have been finalised. Please also ensure that the results are communicated to the National Coordinator as soon as possible after the event.


4. Contact suitable adjudicators (see Appendix A). If none of them have judged the competition before, ask for someone experienced through your Regional Organiser or contact the National Coordinator directly. A group of experienced judges have attended a training session at Dartmouth House. At least one of these should be a member of the judging panel at the Regional Finals. 5. Approach suitable organisations for prizes. The ESU has an agreement with National Book Tokens, making the purchase of book tokens cheaper than cost price. As a suggestion: £15 should be awarded to each member of the winning team and the runners up and £10 should be given as a prize for each individual award. Branch and regional organisers have discretion in using these guidelines. 6. Prepare a programme. A model branch programme is at Appendix C. Notice that the speakers are shown with the team they appear with; this makes it easier for the audience, the judges and especially the introducer (which may be you!). If a team drops out, it is ok to adjust the programme on the day. When preparing the programme, remember to allow 30 minutes between the time the programmes are given out and the time the first presentation starts to allow the chairpersons and questioners to find the speaker they have been matched with, ask questions of him and her and prepare their remarks. 7. Prepare adjudication sheets. You can download these from the ESU website or request soft or hard copies from the National Coordinator. Once you finalised the speaking order in the programme, you should fill in the participant names and the school/team names for the adjudicators. Remember to have blank adjudication sheets available in case your prepared sheets get spoiled or in case the speaking order changes on the day (e.g. if a team pulls out) and your prepared sheets are unusable. 8. Fill in the certificates Dartmouth House provides, except for the names, which should be done when you have checked there are no last minute changes after the judges make their decision. Every competitor should receive a ‘participation’ certificate and every individual who receives an award should receive an ‘award’ certificate. 9. Organise a timekeeper (either a student from the host school, a teacher or do it yourself) with a stopwatch and a bell. Audible signals should be given if the speech last for more than 5 minutes and if the presentation last for more than 14 minutes. A detailed explanation of the format of a public speaking presentation is contained in the competition handbook, which may be downloaded from the ESU website. Timesheets can also be downloaded from the ESU website or can be requested from the National Coordinator. An example of how to fill it in is at Appendix D.

Multiple teams from one school If you allow a school to have two teams in a first round heat or a branch final, the winners and the runners-up cannot come from the same school.

Sending out topics At least six weeks before the competition, send out a letter like that at Appendix B, with the list of topics. There are 90 in total and there are different ways of doing this:   

Send a choice of six topics to each participating school. They choose one and inform you for the programme. Divide the list by the number of participating schools and send an equal number of topics to each school, e.g. 8 schools divided by 90 topics = 11 each. They choose one. Send all schools the entire list for a free choice. This involves more administration.

You should then set a deadline by which they must inform you of their choice. No topic should be chosen by more than one school (first come, first served). It is advisable ask schools with free choice from the whole list to pick a second choice.


On the day  Arrive early and find your contact at the host school.  Bring refreshments for teams with you or arrange for refreshments to be provided by the host school in advance. Squash and biscuits for students and tea/coffee and biscuits for adults is standard. There is a maximum budget of £20 per team available from Dartmouth House for this.  Check where the toilets are – remember that in a single-sex school there may only be limited toilets for the opposite sex.  Is there an adjudication room? The adjudicators should have a private space (e.g. a separate classroom) to go and reach a decision after the competition, rather than trying to reach a decision in the same room as the competitors and the audience.  Is it possible for the school bell to be turned off to avoid disturbing the speakers during the competition? If so, has this been done?  Are there enough chairs for the audience? Where are extra chairs kept? The chairs should be laid out so as not to make things hard for the competitors; try not to place them too far away.  Set up a table, three chairs, a jug of water and a supply of glasses for the competitors. Remember to change the glasses between presentations.  Set up a table and three chairs, a jug of water and three glasses for the judges at the back of the audience.  Try to welcome all the teams as they arrive and give them a chance to see the room and to speak in it before the competition if they wish.  Welcome the adjudicators, show them where the adjudication room is and provide them with their materials (mark sheets, adjudication guidelines, a copy of the competition handbook, some blank sheets of paper for notes and a pen).  Hand out the programme 30 minutes before the first presentation. If a team has not arrived and you cannot make contact with them to determine if they are on their way, warn the chairpersons and questioners that they may have to change their topic. If the team does not turn up, re-do the order of speaking and inform the teams of the new order (and 30 minutes should be allowed for preparation from the time the new speaking order is announced).  Check that the names are correct in the programme and then fill in the certificates. Pass them to the chair of the adjudication panel for his or her signature.  Announce the start of proceedings; a sample speech is at Appendix E.  Are you giving the judges a “thank you” present? A bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a gift card is perfect.  At the end of the event collect the adjudicators’ mark sheets and send them to the National Coordinator with the results, the time sheet and a copy of the programme for the evening. These documents are important for the National Coordinator to have in case the decision or anything else about the evening is questioned at a later date (they also become part of the ESU archive and will be interesting to look back on in the future). The mark sheet should not be shown to the participants, teachers or parents.  If anything does go wrong, let the National Coordinator know as soon as possible after the competition so they can deal with any complaint.  Send the cheque requisition form to Dartmouth House so that the branch can claim for its expenses.  Give the Regional Organiser and National Coordinator the details of the winning school and teacher. If your winners have to withdraw from the regional final it is your responsibility to contact the runners-up and invite them to take the place. Keep the Regional Organiser and National Coordinator informed.

Photography The Child Protection Act requires that permission for the recording (including video recording, audio recording and photography) of children under 16 is obtained from their parents. The teacher’s permission is not sufficient so forms must be sent out and received back before (or at) the event. Parents who attend may of course take their own photographs. Local press photography at the event or photography of a school’s team by their own teacher is permitted.


Appendix A

Hints for Organisers on Selecting and Briefing Adjudicators When it comes to adjudication, the issue very often is that even with comprehensive rules, regulations and guidelines adjudication is an inherently subjective activity. It depends on an individual’s personal response to a presentation. Therefore, however detached and erudite an adjudicator may be, there will always be those who will disagree with his/her verdict, as everyone will respond differently. However, these differences can be tempered if the adjudicators’ independence and neutrality is stressed. Adjudicators should not have an obvious affiliation with any of the participating schools. Choose adjudicators who reflect the following: 1. Geographical Neutrality – Try to ensure that the adjudicators come from outside the catchment area for the round, if possible. 2. Intellectual Neutrality – Try to ensure that the adjudication panel reflects a range of intellectual disciplines and opinions. Increasingly, entrants are coming from widely diverging types of school and it is essential that all types of talent are sympathetically judged. Thus try to avoid a panel which reflects a particular style or approach. 3. Social Neutrality – Again, a range of social backgrounds helps to address the problem of appearing unbiased to entrants who come increasingly from differing social backgrounds. If possible, it is a good idea to have at least one of the judges in their twenties or thirties (i.e. not too far removed from the age of the competitors). Another way to overcome perceived bias is by trying to ensure that the adjudicators are following the same rules as the competitors and other spectators (i.e. the adjudication guidelines and the mark scheme, both of which are to be found in the competition handbook). Adjudicators must be properly briefed before the competition. This may sound very obvious but there have been instances where judges have arrived at the event having received no preparatory information. Adjudicators should have a copy of the Speech and Debate Competition Handbook for Schools made available to them at least two weeks before the competition (downloadable from the ESU website) and should be given the opportunity to contact the branch organiser or the National Coordinator with any queries. In addition, whoever is announcing the start of the round should explain the format of the competition for the benefit of the audience (and to refresh the rules in the minds of the adjudicators and the competitors!). Adjudicators should also be reminded to have questions ready for the teams in the event that no questions are forthcoming from the audience. Organisers should try to ensure that their panels explain their decisions clearly and logically. Then at least those who disagree will know the reasons for their differences. A very common criticism of adjudicators is that they do not give proper feedback to teams, including a justification for their decision. Entrants to the competition are intelligent young people who have worked hard to produce their performances. They deserve an intelligent response for their efforts. The organiser should try to ensure that the chair of the adjudication panel is capable of explaining clearly the principles on which the panel reached its decision. The chair should also be capable of giving specific examples from the presentations in support of the principled reason for the decision (i.e. the decision should come as a logical consequence of what they have described in feedback). If there is time, each adjudicator may talk about a particular role. Furthermore, after the formal end of the competition, adjudicators should be encouraged to give individual comments to every team privately, which can be used to improve future performances. Organisers should also try to ensure that all adjudicators display a high level of professionalism. Too often we hear unprofessional remarks such as “I couldn’t have done that at your age” or “My performance will be worse than yours”. This is effectively saying “I am incompetent”! Competitors and spectators must be sure of the competence of the adjudicators if they are to accept their decisions.


Finally, remember that the majority of the competitors fail to get further than the first round. It is therefore essential that adjudication is of as high a quality as possible at this stage in the competition to give all competitors a sense of having achieved something positive and worthwhile.


Appendix B

Sample letter from Branch Organiser to Participating Schools Dear (name of contact), I am pleased to be able to send you details of the (name of Branch) round of the English-Speaking Union's Public Speaking Competition for Schools for 2011-12. It will take place on (day, date, time), at (full address of venue). The winning school will then take part in the Branch/Regional Final at (place) th on (day, date). The UK Final will be on Saturday, 12 May 2012 at Goodenough College in London. The rules of the competition, an explanation of the format of the competition, as well as guidelines for speakers/coaches and students are all available in the Speech and Debate Competition Handbook for school. The competition handbook can be downloaded from the ESU website,, or copies can be requested from Éamon Chawke at Dartmouth House on 020 7529 1574. The competition is limited to students in Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4). Sixth Form students can participate in the ESU Schools Mace, details of which are also contained in the competition handbook (the Schools Mace is the national debating competition for schools and is also organised by the ESU). I enclose a list of topics. Please select two topics, listed in order of preference, and send them to me as soon as possible - and in any case before (day, date) - so that the programme for the competition can be prepared. I will endeavour to ensure that each school gets its first choice of topic. If your first choice is not available, I will contact you to confirm your second preference. If you have any questions about the competition, please feel free to call or e-mail me on, (number and e-mail). Yours sincerely, (name and role)


Appendix C

Sample Programme [front cover]

<name of area or branch> Round at <name of venue> <day date (no suffix) month>


Sample Programme [inside front and/or back cover(s) – 1 or 2 pages] This is the first round of The English-Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition for Schools. (number) teams from this round will go on to a Branch Final at (venue) on (day, date, time). The (name of Region) Region Final will be held at (address of venue) on (day, date, time). The UK final will take place at Goodenough College in London on Saturday, 12 May 2012.

The Adjudicators <name of chair of the adjudication panel> <short biog if available> <name of adjudication panellist> <short biog if available> <name of adjudication panellist> <short biog if available>

Order of Speaking Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham Chair: Greg Lowden Speaker: Sean Clifford of Burnham Grammar School “Soap operas are essential to national life” Questioner : Philip Barrett

Maidenhead College Claires Court Girls School Chair: Olivia O’Sullivan Speaker: Joel Adams of Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham “Public schools perpetuate the class divide” Questioner : Olivia Hunt

Beaconsfield High School Chair: Jenny Potten Speaker: Katie Wood of Maidenhead College Claires Court Girls School “The more I look at the world, the more I love my dog” Questioner : Samantha Whittaker

Pipers Corner School Chair: Katie Hughes Speaker: Jessica Potten of Beaconsfield High School “All nuclear testing should be banned” Questioner : Beth Rivett

Burnham Grammar School Chair: Ella Foulkes Speaker: Laura Scholefield of Pipers Corner School “There is no right or wrong, only opinion” Questioner: Ashley Wells


Sample Programme [back cover] THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION The ESU brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, we give people the opportunity to realise their potential. Worldwide, the members and alumni of the ESU support these objectives. Our vision is to provide people in the UK and internationally with communication skills, confidence and networking opportunities. We endeavour to see that the value of good communication as an essential attribute for individual, community and global development and understanding is publicly recognised and widely integrated into education and social policy. The ESU is a membership organisation with representation world-wide, which is registered as an educational charity. It is non-political and non-governmental. The Public Speaking Competition was started by the Brighton and Hove Branch of the ESU in 1960 and since has grown to be a major stimulus of effective spoken English in British schools. The ESU Speech and Debate Department was set up in 1995. In addition to the Public Speaking Competition for Schools, Speech and Debate also administers the John Smith Memorial Mace (the National Universities Debating Competition), the Universities Mooting Competition, the Schools Mace and the International Public Speaking Competition. The Discover Your Voice programme is also administered by Speech and Debate. It offers training workshop and resources for the development of public speaking and debating in schools. Finally, Speech and Debate also selects and trains the England Worlds Schools Debating Team and the British Universities Debating Squad, which engages in overseas coaching.

Details of membership can be obtained from: Membership The English-Speaking Union, Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street, London, W1J 5ED T 020 75291550


Appendix D

Sample Timesheet (Completed)

Appendix E

Introductory Remarks: An Example Script for Branch Organisers Welcome to the <name> round of the ESU Public Speaking Competition for Schools. This is the first round of a competition which leads firstly to a branch/regional final <whichever applies> at <venue> on the <day and date> and then to the UK final in London in May. <If the competition is sponsored, locally or nationally, this is the moment to mention the sponsors and especially to welcome their representative if present>. In a moment, I shall call upon the first team to speak. Before I do so, can I ask you to check that your mobile phone is switched off and remind you that photography during the competition is not allowed. (Unless you have had a complete sets of permission forms from the parents of all competitors) The subjects were chosen by the teams themselves from a list provided by the English-Speaking Union. Each team consists of:  a chairperson, who introduces the topic and the speaker for one minute, controls the question time and sums up for two minutes at the end;  a speaker from another school, who speaks on the topic for five minutes - this is not a debate so the speaker may discuss the pros and cons of the question and come to an opposite conclusion from that suggested by the phrasing of the topic;  and a questioner, who will question the speaker for four minutes. After the questions from the questioner, the discussion will be opened to the Floor for a period of two minutes, during which time members of the audience may put brief questions directly to the speaker. Finally, the chairperson will take two minutes to sum up the entire presentation. Please have your questions ready and can I ask supporters of the speaker’s school not to question their own speaker so that there can be no suspicion of pre-arranged questions. You will notice that timing is very important. The timekeeper will keep a note of the timings and pass them on to the adjudicators after the competition. The timekeeper will also give time signals, if required – to the speaker, after (5 minutes) of the speech are up, and to the chair, when the total time for the presentation, 14 minutes, is up. The adjudicators this year are: [brief bio notes stressing public speaking qualifications] So now let us begin by calling on the competitors in the first presentation. I shall wait until the adjudicators are ready before calling the competitors in each presentation to the front. Introduce each presentation in turn giving names of schools only. Time all the speakers. After each presentation, catch the eye of the chair of the adjudication panel to know when the adjudicators are ready for the next presentation. After the final presentation, point people to the refreshments. Remind the adjudicators that we want a winning team AND a runner up in case of emergencies. Give them the timesheet to use at their discretion. When the adjudicators are ready, get the audience back and introduce the chair of the adjudication panel, who should give some general feedback. Advise them not to say more than three things about each role (chairperson, speaker and questioner). If you are pushing 2.5 hours running time, ask them to keep it brief as the teams will want to get home. If a representative of the sponsors is present, they could present the prizes. Thank the adjudicators (give them their “thank you” present, if any), the timekeeper, the teams and the teachers and the host school



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