Bowled over by pupils’ debating contribution

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If there’s one thing that never ceases to amaze and impress me it is the quality of the young people I am privileged to meet from our Wansbeck schools, and that’s an opinion that was reinforced last week when I took part in a debating evening at St Benet Biscop School, Bedlington.

The occasion was a Question Time event, chaired by Look North’s Colin Briggs, and organised through Bedlington’s Leading Link as part of the BBC School Report initiative that gives students a wonderful opportunity to make their own news reports before a live audience.

It was an opportunity that was grasped with both hands by young people from the school, who played a key role in both the production of the evening, as well as joining myself on the panel, along with Richard Wearmouth and Dean Jackson.

We debated three main issues – educational differences between the north and south, what impact the EU referendum would have on the north east, and, because there is no longer a ‘job for life’, is it right that young people should be expected to work long hours for low wages?

I was bowled over by the contribution of our young panellists. Their knowledge of the subjects and confidence in putting over their views was exceptional. They, along with the production team, were an absolute credit to their school and worthy of the highest praise. The reaction of an appreciative audience confirmed that as well.