A north Oxfordshire MP hosted her eighth annual school debate event during UK Parliament Week.

Victoria Prentis MP hosted her eighth annual Cherwell Democracy Challenge on Friday, a debating competition sponsored by Cherwell District Council (CDC).

The day was attended by local 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.

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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, 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. We had North Oxfordshire Academy, Sibford School, The Warriner School, The Bicester School, The Cooper School and Bloxham School all in attendance.

“I was really impressed with the student’s awareness of issues and standard of arguments. A well-fought final debating a motion on British military involvement in Ukraine saw The Warriner School 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.”

In last year’s competition the teams debated topics such as environmental protests and artificial intelligence.

And after a competitive morning North Oxfordshire Academy and Sibford School reached the final.

After debating the final motion on nuclear weaponry, Sibford School walked away as last year’s champions.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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