Trust for Sustainable Living International Schools Essay Competition 735 views

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The Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) is inviting school children around the world to submit essays for the 2020 TSL International Schools Essay Competition, and for schools around the world to submit videos for TSL Schools Sustainability Challenge. The theme for the 2020 competitions is Partner Power Children should share their dreams about the potential of partnerships and collaborations to help achieve a more sustainable future. Students are free to approach the topic however they wish; but they  are strongly encouraged to include their own personal views, perspectives and experiences to help bring their visions alive. For example, they could:

  • consider 1 or many of the SDGs,
  • concentrate on already existing or possible future initiatives, or
  • focus on local, national or international level partnerships.

Each student is invited to submit 1 essay in English, entitled, “My vision: Partnerships for a sustainable future”.

The School Debates build on the essay competition, and anyone who enters the essay competition can participate.

The 2020 Debates on Partner Power will take place as follows: Country Debates in Spring 2020, and online International Debate & Teacher Champions Exchange in early July 2020.

Schools are warmly invited to organise their own Country Debate with other partner schools and supporting educational authorities (see the Official Website for further details).

The annual International Schools Debate will then follow in early July. The debate will be held online for the first time ever – allowing more schools to participate by eliminating barriers like high travel costs and visa restrictions, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the event.

For those who are in or near the UK and keen to keep building on the theme, a follow-on Partner Power Summit for students, teachers and other event partners will take place at Oxford University during Summer 2020. This is an additional event for which attendance is optional. Other regional events may also take place, hosted by partner organisations around the world. .


In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the competition, the Grand Prize winnerof the TSL International Schools Essay Competition, together with his/her Teacher Champion and parent, win a free trip to the 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.

The top entries either receive Finalist (top 10%) or Honourable Mention (top 10-33%) award certificates. The overall Grand Prize Winner, and top ten medallists in each category, are notified separately and announced at the Debates and Awards.

The school that wins the TSL Schools Sustainability Challenge will win the Schools Sustainability Challenge Trophy, together with a cash prize of £500 or equivalent. The award is presented each year at the TSL International Schools Debates.


There are 2 categories for the TSL International Schools Essay Competition: Primary Schools (ages 7-11) and Secondary Schools (ages 11-17). Teacher Champions will represent the schools and submit all the children’s essays. Primary school students have to submit an essay of maximum 400 words, whilst Secondary school students have to submit an essay of maximum 600 words.

The essays will be judged for originality and creativity, and the potential to contribute to a constructive international debate. Unique and well-argued perspectives will score highly.

All entries should be in English and each essay writer or video creator has to warrant that he/she personally created, wrote and produced his/her essay or video submission, except where otherwise quoted or credited in the essay or video.

Individuals under the age of 19 and those below the age of majority must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian to enter the competition..


All essays and videos have to be submitted by 20 December 2019.

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