Havering College students win BBC debate prize

MEDIA students at Havering College of Further and Higher Education are to host a BBC Question Time-style politics show after winning a national competition.

The college in Hornchurch, Essex, will be hosting a live webcast debate with politicians and celebrities on Friday, June 1st. The programme will also be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel.

The prize is the result of the college’s curriculum manager for Media, Andy Popperwell, entering a five minute edited clip of Havering Asks in the BBC’s annual Schools Questions and Answers competition.

The Havering Asks event was organised by the college and Havering Council during Local Democracy Week last September and involved a filmed debate with an audience of 150 young people and a panel of politicians and celebrities.

Havering College is delighted to be named as one of six winners nationwide in the BBC Schools Questions and Answers contest.

Mr Popperwell said: “This is an excellent achievement for the college. Our students and staff are excited to be working with the BBC on a live broadcast. Young people will be able to question politicians and celebrities on the issues which matter to them. It will be a fantastic insight into the industry for our media students.”

The BBC’s deputy political editor James Landale is to chair the debate in The Space at the Havering College Ardleigh Green Campus on June 1st. Panellists announced to date include Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy and television presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli. A Havering College student will also be on the panel.

Part one of the prize for Havering College was a preparatory workshop run by Parliament’s Education Service which is supporting the Schools Questions and Answers initiative.

The workshop attended by students on BTEC Media and A-level Media courses took place this week.

A-level student Nafisat Ishola, 19, from Dagenham, said: “The workshop was a great experience. It was captivating and uplifting. We are all looking forward to the BBC returning to the college for the live filming of the debate.”

Classmate Natacha Felix, 19, from Rainham, said: “I enjoyed learning about Parliament and how it works. The session was useful in preparing for our own Question Time type event.”

BTEC Level 3 Media student Lewis Bousfield, 19, from Rainham, has been shortlisted for the role of student panelist.

He said: It is great for young people to have the opportunity to debate the issues in the news and express their views.”

The students are now looking forward to a second workshop – next time with the BBC News political editor for east of England, Deborah McGurran. It will be their final chance to practise their debating skills ahead of the live webcast in June.

For further information on Havering College’s Media and Creative Media Production courses -  including BTEC, A-levels and HNC/D - call Threshold Services on 01708 462801, email information@havering-college.ac.uk or visit http://www.havering-college.ac.uk/

  

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