Reducing voting age and the future of James Bond get Banbury area school pupils talking
The debates were part of an annual competition called the Cherwell Democracy Challenge. Now in its eighth year, the event was held last Friday as part of UK Parliament Week.
The competition was sponsored by Cherwell District Council and attended by secondary schools including North Oxfordshire Academy, Sibford School, The Warriner School, The Bicester School, The Cooper School and Bloxham School who competed against one another in two rounds for a spot in the final.
Rounds one and two saw teams debate motions on reducing the voting age and the future of James Bond. After a lively morning of debating and much deliberation between the panel of judges, The Warriner School and The Cooper School reached the final.
While the finalists were preparing, the other students had an opportunity to ask the judges questions and learn more about their day-to-day lives. The Warriner School and The Cooper School competed against one another in the final with a motion on British military involvement in Ukraine.
Judges included Victoria Prentis MP, Banbury’s High Steward Sir Tony Baldry, The Lord Boswell of Aynho Tim Boswell, Deputy Leader of CDC Ian Corkin, Chief Executive of CDC Yvonne Rees and solicitor and business owner Shaun Jardine.
Speaking after the event, Mrs Prentis said: “My annual Cherwell Democracy Challenge is a date in the calendar that I always look forward to. It is a fantastic way for local students to challenge themselves by participating in debate during UK Parliament Week.”
“It was great to have so many students from local schools attend this year. I was really impressed with the students’ awareness of issues and standard of arguments.
"A well-fought final debating a motion on British military involvement in Ukraine saw The Warriner walk away as this year’s champions, with a brilliant team performance.
“I would like to thank all of the judges for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend. It was a truly great day and it was very encouraging to see so many young people confidently articulate their views. I hope they got as much out of the day as I did.”