Two sixth formers from Ponteland Community High School have won the first-ever Northumberland Schools Parliamentary Debating Award.
Brainchild of Hexham MP Guy Opperman (pictured), the competition saw students Harriet Barrett and Matthew Ross compete against teams from Haydon Bridge, Prudhoe and Hexham to win the coveted chipboard trophy, courtesy of the Hexham chipboard factory of sponsor Egger UK – Northumberland’s largest manufacturing employer.
Opperman said: “It is so important that young people challenge and discuss the latest topics and what better way than through a debate like this. I hope to run an even bigger event next year!”
Based on British parliamentary guidelines, the four teams debated a motion on whether the voting age should be lowered to 16. After a close competition, and a split judging panel, Harriet and Matthew were declared the winners.