Trust for Sustainable Living International Schools Essay Competition and Debate 2020 (Funded to London, UK)

Deadline: December 20, 2019

Applications are open for the Trust for Sustainable Living International Schools Essay Competition and Debate 2020.

The Trust for Sustainable Living is pleased to invite school children around the world to share their dreams on the potential of partnerships to help achieve a more sustainable future. The year’s theme is Partner power.

Students and Teacher Champions who participate in the essay competition will be eligible to participate in a National Debate on the same theme in Spring 2020, leading to an International Online Debate (among the top performing students), and Teacher Champions Exchange, in Summer 2020. For the first time ever, the international events will take place online to help support the broadest possible participation from around the world.


In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the competition, the overall Grand Prize winner (plus Teacher Champion and parent) will win a trophy and a free trip to Oxford, UK in Summer 2020, including £500 spending money
The writers of the Top Ten essays in each school category (Primary or Secondary) and the Debate Winners will receive medals, and all Essay Finalists and Honourable Mentions and all Debate participants will receive personalised e-certificates.


Open to primary students and secondary students, supported by Teacher Champions, parents and schools. (To participate, each school simply needs to register a Teacher Champion to coordinate on its behalf.)


Each student is invited to submit one essay in English, entitled, My vision: Partnerships for a sustainable future
The essay length varies by age as follows:
Primary students (ages 7-11): 400 words
Secondary students (ages 11-17): 600 words

Judging Criteria

The essays are judged for originality and creativity in all formats – and the potential to contribute to constructive national or international debate.
Unique and well-argued perspectives score highly.
Students are strongly discouraged from copying and pasting non-original material. The same snippets of text tend to reappear again and again from common sources such as Wikipedia, and thus become very obvious to the essay readers!
Each child’s age is taken into account when judging, so that younger children are not at an unfair disadvantage when compared with older children.
An international panel of sustainability experts and educationalists will select the winning entries in each category.