Topical Talk Festival

Take part in the world's biggest news festival for young people.

January 22nd – March 28th 2024

What are Topical Talk Festivals?

The chance for school children to connect with peers across the world, engage with leading professionals and topic experts, and gain recognition for their school on a global stage.

Festivals are global discussions between schools and leading topic experts on the biggest news stories and issues of our time: from socio-political topics like racism and equity to sustainability and the "climate crisis". Each Festival is packed with inspiring activities, online events and awards for thoughtful conversations and ideas.

This year's Festival takes place between January 22nd and March 28th 2024.

What happens during a Festival?

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Facilitate a classroom discussion for one hour per week
Select and teach a one-hour lesson on a different topic in the news each week. Our Topical Talk Festival resources provide everything you need to start engaging classroom discussions.


Encourage students to join global discussions on a safe online platform
After each lesson, students log on to the Festival Student Hub to share their ideas and opinions with other students from all over the world. Explore the discussions from Topical Talk Festival 2024.


Engage with events and topic experts
Students can ask questions to topic experts, take part in live lessons and are supported in their online discussions by volunteers from several corporate organisations.


Help students have their say
In the last few weeks of the Festival, students select a topic they have discussed to create their own Standpoint. A Standpoint is an opinion piece in written, audio or video format. Standpoints are entered into the Standpoint competition.

You asked and we've listened! To accommodate as many schools as possible, Festival 2024 runs over a ten-week period. You'll have more flexibility to take part as suits your school.

Previous Festivals

Festival highlights magazine

Check out the highlights from our last Festival

We've selected some stand-out contributions from Topical Talk Festival 2023 to give you a taste of the fantastic discussions.

Download a digital copy

Who is eligible for the Festival?

The Festival is suitable for students aged 10-16 with B2 level English or above. It is open to all government-funded schools and costs £299 per class of 34 students.

How do I sign-up?

Festival 2024 registration is now closed. Registration for 2025 opens in April. Or email [email protected].