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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 21:09 GMT 22:09 UK
Schools Question Time 2004
David Dimbleby and the winning team
David Dimbleby worked with the winning team
The first Schools Question Time was broadcast on 8 July 2004. It was co-produced by the pupils who were winners of the Schools Question Time Challenge.

They worked alongside the regular Question Time team on a programme showing young people's angles on current issues.

The team of twelve students, three from each of four winning schools, shared roles such as audience producer, panel producer and editor with the team from Mentorn who normally produce Question Time. They took on production roles on the night as the programme was made.

There was a distinctly youthful flavour to the programme. The student producers were aged 14 to 17 and they selected a comparatively young panel too, including the leader of the National Union of Students and one of the government's youngest ministers.

They also decided that the audience should be made up of people aged 14 to 25, so the questions raised were particularly relevant to young people.

Student co-editor Ciarnan Helferty said he hoped the programme would be "an example of what young people can achieve".

David Dimbleby chaired the programme as usual and welcomed the schools programme: "It is immensely encouraging seeing young people taking an interest in issues that affect them and voicing their opinions so coherently and in public."

The four schools that took part were:

  • St Edward's College, Liverpool
  • Oakgrove Integrated College, Derry
  • Southlands High School, Chorley
  • Northumberland Park Community School, Tottenham, London

Knox Academy, Haddington, Scotland
Northumberland Park Community School, Tottenham, London
Oxford Community School, Oxford, South East
St Edward's College, Liverpool, North West
Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood London
Oakgrove Integrated College, Gransha Park, Northern Ireland
Parkside Community College, Cambridge, South East
Southlands High School, Chorley, North West
Poltair Community School & Sports College, St Austell, South West
Bedwas High School, Bedwas, Wales
Newent Community, Newent, South West
Whitby Community College, Whitby, Yorkshire and the Humber
Reading School, Reading, South East
The English Martyrs School, Hartlepool, North East
The Schools Question Time Challenge, which launched last November, invited schools to apply for a free education pack to help in the teaching of citizenship for secondary school pupils and as guidance in creating their own proposal detailing how they would put on a School Question Time event.

The BBC worked with the Institute for Citizenship, which was supported by BT in producing the packs and awarding grants for schools which reached the final stages.

Fourteen schools reached the final stage of the Schools Question Time Challenge. They had to turn their proposed School Question Time event into a reality, receiving professional support, such as editorial advice and help in staging their events, as well as a grant for 500.

A travelling team of judges visited each event to select the four winning schools. Three students from each will now unite to form a production team for a BBC Question Time programme.

The special edition programme was broadcast in the regular time slot on BBC One on Thursday 8 July, 2004.

Schools Question Time Challenge is a UK-wide scheme, supported by BT in association with the Institute for Citizenship and by the BBC, to help pupils develop their citizenship and communication skills by producing local School Question Time events.

Behind the scenes
Schools Question Time Challenge 2004


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