School children in Sleaford asked some tough questions when they took part in their own version of BBC political panel show, Question Time.
The event held on Thursday at St George’s Academy was the main event of a day of news reports put together by students of both the Sleaford and Ruskington sites for the annual BBC School Report day when the broadcaster invites children to get involved and engaged in news gathering.
The event was co-ordinated by Terry Crawshaw, vice -principal. He said as well as about 20 young journalists reporting on the day’s events, they decided to try to make the news themselves by organising their version of Question Time.
Excerpts were recorded and added to their website on the BBC News School Report page, with young journalists (aged 12-14) writing articles on the event.
Watched by students aged between 11 and 18, the academy held a competition inviting students to suggest questions to be put to the panel.
The panel consisted of: Marc Jones Conservative Party parliamentary candidate for Great Grimsby, Harrish Bisnauthsing Liberal Democrat candidate for Grantham and Stamford, Victoria Percival standing for the Green Party in Boston & Skegness, Marietta King candidate for UKIP in Grantham & Stamford, Jason Pandya-Wood Labour candidate for Sleaford and North Hykeham and Wayne Birks principal of St George’s Academy.
Students also ran a feature on Matthew Holden, Liberal Democrat candidate for Sleaford & North Hykeham as a former student at St George’s.
The candidates were greatly impressed by the whole event, the interest shown by students and standard of questioning. Questions fired at them included what effects changes in the exam system would have on GCSE and A-level students, limits to spending on the NHS, restrictions on immigration, what would be the energy of the future, should free TV licences and fuel allowances be given to wealthy pensioners, advantages and disadvantages of staying in the EU, price wars affecting farmers, should MPs be allowed to have second jobs, which parties could potentially work together in a coalition government.
○ Year 9 students from Carre’s Grammar School also took part in School Report, writing articles on a range of topics. A team of four students went down to Westminster to film an interview with the shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt.
Two others travelled to Lincoln Castle and Cathedral to find out about the 800 year anniversary of Magna Carta.