Topical Talk FAQs

Yes! Our resources are suitable for learners 9+ and contain differentiation opportunities throughout.

Topical Talk Festival is suitable for students aged 10-16 years-old.

Topical Talk can be used in any educational setting. The resources are designed for use in school, but if you're a home-educator you can adapt sessions for however many learners are taking part.

All teaching resources are free to download and will remain free - all you need is an account on our Topical Talk website.

Set up your free account

Each Topical Talk Festival costs £299 per class of 34 students. Funded places are offered to some schools.

Topical Talk Festivals are global discussions between students and leading topic experts on the top news stories and issues of our time. Festivals use Topical Talk teaching resources as a springboard for inspiring activities, exciting events and awards for thoughtful conversations and ideas.

The Festival takes place once a year and, to accommodate as many schools as possible, teachers can now select their six-week slot within a ten-week period. Visit our Topical Talk site to learn more.

Find out more

Experienced teachers on our team design all Topical Talk resources - it’s no surprise that 96% of teachers rate them as excellent!

For example, for schools in England, Topical Talk meets criteria and objectives in:

  • Ofsted inspection framework
  • DfE Online safety requirements
  • DfE guidance on British values through SMSC

By signing up to free resources you'll also get access to a range of support materials. Our team of experienced teachers are on-hand to answer any questions you have - whether that’s about the classroom resources, Topical Talk Festival, or something else!

Throughout the year, you are also invited to join exclusive webinars and training sessions for our Topical Talk teachers.

See the upcoming events

Regular, weekly use of Topical Talk resources can help students to make five times more progress in critical thinking and communication skills.

In a 2021 impact case study, Topical Talk students made an average progress of 3.6 skill steps using the Skills Builder Universal Framework which measured listening, speaking, problem-solving and creativity skills. Without any intervention, the average progress made by students is 0.72 skill steps.

Topical Talk is versatile. Some schools embed it within literacy while others choose to use the programme to hit multiple assessment objectives in personal development or Citizenship lessons. Alternatively, you could use Topical Talk during form or registration time, or run it as an extra-curricular club.

Simply complete our short sign up form on the Topical Talk website to create your free account.

Sign up for your free account

We are an independent charity set up from inside The Economist newspaper by staff with a passion for education.

We enable young people to join inspiring, open-minded discussions about current affairs. We support teachers with free resources, events and training to facilitate engaging, topical discussions in their classrooms. Young people can join global conversations during our biannual festivals, using our online discussion platform to share ideas with peers from around the world and develop their own Standpoint.

Read more about our story