This competition has now closed, and we will be in contact with the results shortly.

World Speech Day takes place on 16 March 2020, and our new speech competition is about reaching to unexpected voices among young people in nations across the globe. In particular we are looking for new ideas in climate change and gender equality, part of the UN’s Sustainable development goals.

We believe in human progress powered by new ideas. We also recognise that progress is never linear. The ideas that will shape tomorrow may come from unexpected voices. 


Get your students to write a short speech of no more than 500 words, or 300 words in the case of the 7-10 age category, on climate change or gender equality. Teachers then select the best entry from your class or school to go forward to a second round, before a panel of judges, including professional speechwriters. The winners from this round will then be invited to deliver their speeches at a ceremony at the British Council’s headquarters in London on World Speech Day, 16 March 2020.

Schools in both the UK and their partner country can submit a speech written by one of their pupils within the age category.  We recommend that UK and overseas schools run their own mini-competition and select the best entry from each school. 

Both speeches will be assessed together.  The winners, of both age groups, will be composed of one pupil from the UK and one from the partner school.


Each winning entry will receive a £200 book token or equivalent voucher to be shared equally between the two schools.  All participating schools will receive a certificate. 


The competition will be open to two age categories (age as at 4 October 2019):

  • 7-10 year olds
  • 11-14 year olds.

The Competition is open to schools in the following countries 

Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan.

MENA: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Yemen.

United Kingdom.

For more information on eligibilty, please read the Terms and Conditions in the Rules of the Competition.

Partner schools

In order to participate in this Competition, schools need to have a partner. An eligible Competition entrant includes one school in the UK working in partnership with one school from a participating country outside the UK.  To enter the Competition, schools in eligible countries outside the UK must find a UK school to partner with or UK Schools must find a school in a participating country. Once schools have been matched, they should speak to each other to discuss how they will work together.

Priority will be given to partnerships between schools in the UK and Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nepal, Palestinian Territories and Egypt.


The World Speech Day website offers a number of resources that can help you with your entry.

Learning for All - training videos to help anyone become a good speaker.

Define, Develop, Deliver - a practical guide that covers the foundations you need when embarking on a speaking journey.

For further resources, hints and tips, please visit the World Speech Day website.