Warriner pupils win debating challenge

By Sarah Edwards at

Secondary school pupils from across the Cherwell Valley took part in a Democracy Challenge debating competition, organised by Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire.

The third annual Democracy Challenge, was hosted by Cherwell District Council at their offices in Bodicote. Teams participated in two initial rounds debating social media abuse and the role of private providers in the NHS. The two highest scoring teams then battled it out in a final debate on tuition fees.

The Warriner School were winners for the second year running with the team of Emily Thompson, Lucy Dunlop, Alfie Bullus and Daniel O’Toole, although they faced stiff competition from Sibford School in the final.

Victoria was joined on the judging panel by other local elected officials and members of the community, including councillors, journalists and a Thames Valley Police inspector. While the finalists were preparing for their debate, other students participated in a Q&A session with the judges, which involved a lively discussion about student loans.

Speaking after the event, Victoria said: “The Democracy Challenge is fast becoming one of the highlights of my calendar. I continue to be impressed by the high standard of debating, which improves year on year. The Warriner were a formidable team, but everyone who participated made some excellent and thought-provoking contributions. Cherwell District Council is always so supportive in hosting us; it makes such a difference for the students to experience the atmosphere in the Chamber. Democracy has a bright future in North Oxfordshire.”