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Monday, August 30, 2021

Debating and public speaking training and consultancy

New departure

After 35 years in the profession, 21 of them as Head of English and Debating at Godolphin and Latymer School in London, I am retiring from teaching from September 2021 in order to devote myself full time to Debating For Everyone, my agency for debating and public speaking training and consultancy.

Plans for 2021-22

I already have bookings from September to work with Francis Holland (Regent's Park) and Glendower Preparatory School in London, King William's School on the Isle of Man, and St Alban's High School. I will be working as an online mentor for high school teachers in the USA with Rhetorica Debate’s ‘debate centred instruction’ programme. I am planning to work with Skylarks, a  charity supporting young people with additional needs. I am also offering small group private tuition in debating and public speaking skills.

I will be continuing to run the following competitions, which were initiated by me and have run successfully for many years (renamed, but in the same format): the Debating For Everyone Junior Shield, for students in Years 7-8, the Debating For Everyone Middle School Shield, for students in Years 9-11, and the Debating For Everyone Sixth Form Shield, for students in Years 12-13. Subject to government guidance, these will be returning to in person debating. I also intend to continue to work as an oracy trainer and judge for the English Speaking Union, and as a judge for the PIXL Up for Debate competition.

I will be posting weekly in term time on this blog, with debating resources and ideas for teachers and students.

If you would like to be kept informed about the debating competitions I run, and to receive my blogposts and information about other debating opportunities, please enter your details on this form (it will take no more than a minute).

Although my diary is already very full, I still have space for some bookings. You can contact me on

What Debating For Everyone can offer


  • Debating training for students. All levels and ages catered for, from an introduction to the basic skills to more advanced and challenging training. Can be offered as a one day workshop, or as part of a more extended training programme over the whole school year.
  • Setting up and running internal debating competitions either within schools or involving several schools.
  • Training in public speaking skills for students or adults, either individually or in groups.
  • CPD for staff leading debating, showing them how to set up and run a debating club and establish a debating culture in their school.
  • Whole staff CPD on how to use debating within the curriculum.
  • Whole staff CPD on oracy within the curriculum.

All of the above can be offered either online or (subject to government guidance) in person.
Previous work

Since setting up Debating for Everyone in 2018, I have worked with Elite Journey, a company running courses for thousands of students in ten different countries around the world to help them develop their curriculum and teacher training, as well as launching their first ever London based course. In March 2019, I helped run a London debating tour for students at Hackley School in New York. I have run training programmes for Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, Fulham Boys School in Fulham, Holy Family School in Walthamstow, Redden Court School in Romford, Fitzwimarc School in Essex, Sir John Leman School in Suffolk, Brittons Academy in Havering and Orleans Park School in Twickenham. I have set up new debating programmes at Haberdasher's Aske's Boys' Prep in Elstree and the German School in Ham, as well as establishing a partnership with the charity Debating Mental Health.
I adapted to the Covid crisis by moving my debating offer online. From March 2020 onwards, I ran online versions of my competitions, involving schools from the UK, the USA and Spain. I also ran online training courses for students at Sarum Hall School in London, and Oak House School in Barcelona, as well as private courses online for small groups of students.


My book The Debating Book: everything you ever need to know about debating, a how to guide for secondary school student debaters and their teachers, is available from Amazon.


With more than twenty years of debating experience, an unrivalled network of contacts, and a track record of setting up and running many successful and growing competitions, there is nothing that Julian Bell doesn’t know about school debating. Thorough, helpful and inspiring, he ensured our debating programme got off to a flying start, and was constantly available to support us thereafter. Highly recommended!

David Paton, Radnor House, Sevenoaks

We couldn't recommend Mr Bell's workshops enough. He ran two three hour virtual sessions with nearly seventy students at Oak House School in Barcelona, and with great results. The group was a mix of ages, ability and debating experience, yet Julian created a programme which worked for everyone. The students were engaged from start to finish in the activities: an excellent mix of fun, stimulating tasks, and precise, useful feedback. With the virtual context, we had some teachers assisting with group work and feedback, but Julian organised and led all the sessions masterfully. His advice and messages to the students did not lose their clarity and impact. He also took care to consult us carefully on our expectations and objectives for the session, and matched his pace and range of skills and content covered to exactly what we wanted. It was the perfect way to kick-start the year's debating programme.
 Mary Murray Brown English Teacher and Oracy Coordinator, Oak House School, Barcelona.
My school arranged for Mr Bell to come in to teach our teachers about British Parliamentary style debating and how to judge it so that we can host fixtures of our own and set up our own inter-house debating competition. The session was very informative and useful, providing the teachers with the resources and tools necessary to understand BP debating and judge it to a high standard. Thank you very much!

Joseph Niblett, Tiffin Boys School, Kingston-upon-Thames

My son definitely enjoyed it and felt he got a lot out of it. He’s been debating quite a bit at school, but without really having had much guidance on how, so he felt he’d really benefited from your very high level of expertise.

Parent of participant in online debating course
I absolutely loved doing [an online interview] and I honestly put that down to you and just dispelling all of the mystery and fears around public speaking.
Orlanda Bryars, Director at Sonar Arts

We were given great tips on debating by Mr Bell. I had a wonderful time.

Year 5 student, Haberdashers' Aske's Boys Prep School, Elstree

It was an amazing experience and I’d love to do it again.  

Year 6 student, Haberdashers' Aske's Boys Prep School Elstree

The children were positively buzzing from the experience, and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in intellectual sparring.

Julian Bell from 'Debating for Everyone' delivered an exceptional workshop to our year 8 students. The sessions were an hour long each where our students learnt how to make compelling arguments and develop their oracy and literacy skills. In the final session six of our students debated in front of their peers and it was brilliant to see their learning put into practice. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day by both staff and students. Thank you Julian!

Nancy Bowler-Ettman, Redden Court School, Havering

It was great having Julian come into school to work closely with our debaters. His workshop really helped to stretch the team to think about motions and how to develop arguments around them. He was able to push debaters that have some experience, but need to get to the next level. 

Alex Lippa, Holy Family Catholic SchoolWalthamstow

The students learnt a lot and found the motions and topics debated and discussed interesting and challenging. The advice Julian gave on how to develop the Debate Club was practical and achievable.The workshop was very useful and enjoyable for the students. 

Tabitha Buckley, Sir John Leman High School, Beccles

Students interacted with each other about a range of topical issues, competed with each other but in a friendly, fun and civilised environment and got to know other students, in other year groups, who share a similar love of debating. Through engaging activities, students were taught how they can improve their expression and delivery, how to prioritize and fully explain points and how to identify what type of debate a motion might be and the best way to approach that kind of argument.

Sam Knight, Orleans Park School, Twickenham

Very fun and intense workshop.  Learnt a lot and can't wait to continue debating next year! 

The workshop constituted some of my favourite school days of the year! 

I learned a lot of new, useful, debating skills, for example, PEEL, sign-posting and rebuttal.  

On the first day, our students were introduced to the key skills needed for debates, which they then practiced in a variety of fun activities.  On the second day, teams of pupils competed in a series of debates about varied and engaging topics. Mr Bell's feedback after each debate was very instructive, allowing the students to improve greatly over the course of the day.  At the end of the course, they were all enthusiastic and eager to do more debating at our school next year. 

Amy Zondermann, The London German School

Amazing workshop! It catered for everyone, from those who hadn’t debated before to those who had been in competitions. Interesting and topical motions which made the day engaging and very interactive. The advice which Mr Julian Bell gave will really help me in the future; in the club and in  competitions. Thank you Mr Julian Bell!

Student at  Fitzwimarc School, Rayleigh