Debate Mate

Debate Mate is a social-enterprise that teaches the key 21st Century skills of critical and creative thinking, leadership, strategic teamwork and effective communication, while developing confidence, resilience, self-esteem and empathy.

Our schools programme delivers social mobility, while our business arm teaches the same skills in the corporate world, helping individuals and firms to communicate more effectively and add profit to their business.

The money generated feeds directly into our not-for-profit schools programme, that teaches 6,000 students per week in the UK’s most deprived communities. We have grown 3000% in nine years and have taught over 25,000 young people and over 5,000 corporates to date. Our aim is to be in every school that needs us by 2020.

The UK has the lowest rate of social mobility amongst OECD countries. This means nearly a third of the UK’s children live below the poverty line with no way out. The metric Debate Mate uses for eligibility for our programme is that the school must have above average number of students on Free School Meals. The 2016 OECD report on skills in young adults found that Britain placed 23rd for literacy and 22nd for numeracy out of 23 countries.

We reduce social immobility in the UK’s most deprived areas. In addition to lacking key skills and academic attainment, the major unaddressed cause and symptom of social immobility is a lack of core confidence. Confidence is the net result of the skills that Debate Mate teaches. These attributes result in a win:win – it’s ultimately good for the individual, the community and the country.

Debate Mate teaches core key 21st century skills through its unique after-school debate clubs, teacher training and online platform. These skills, as identified by the CBI, are: communication (listening & speaking), strategic teamwork & leadership, ability to process complex information quickly, and most importantly, confidence and self esteem. These skills are also highly sought-after in the private sector. If we could float ‘confidence’ on the Stock Exchange, we would fast become a FTSE100 company. This is because once an individual or team has developed confidence, they are able to maximise their output in any arena, be that at school or in business – we believe that confidence is a right.

Until Debate Mate, no organisation had cracked the means by which to deliver this in one place.

Debate Mate Research Reports

Debate Mate Impact Report