On a day when leading politicians were locking horns over Brexit, Banbury offered the next generation chance to sharpen their debating skills.
The majority of secondary schools in the area gathered at Bodicote House on Friday for this year’s Cherwell Democracy Challenge, organised by MP Victoria Prentis as part of Parliament Week.
Mrs Prentis said: “As always, the quality of debate and the standard set by the students was extremely high.
“The two motions debated before the final looked at gender equality and prisoner rights, leading to an exciting final between The Warriner School and the Blessed George Napier School.
“The Warriner School came away as winners for a third year in a row, with an impressive team performance.
“It was a great day and very encouraging to see so many confident young people discussing such a wide range of subjects.
“I am already looking forward to next year’s competition and hope all secondary schools in my constituency will get involved.”
In the first two rounds the teams knew the motions but not who would be speaking for or against until a draw was done on the day.
They had no idea of the final motion until it was announced and there were audible gasps when it was revealed one team would be speaking in favour of the abolition of the monarchy.
That task fell to the Warriner team which won the day with the support of the panel of judges and the vote from the audience, made up of the other teams involved.
One of that winning Warriner team, Ethan Gudge , said: “The day was well organised and provided a brilliant platform for young people to get into debating.
“As an aspiring politician, it was great to experience exposure into the debating process and was an honour to debate in front of important members of the community.”
Libby Monaghan from the BGN team said: “The Cherwell debating competition was an excellent experience and was very enjoyable.
“It allowed me to broaden my views on certain issues and challenge my debating skills. I am very pleased with the result, congratulations to the Warriner School and everyone who took part.”