Pupils question country’s leader

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Two Year 9 pupils had an audience with the Prime Minister yesterday as they travelled to Downing Street to put their questions to top politicians.

Budding reporters William Bell, 13, and Harry Tompkins, 13, from Corby Business Academy (CBA) had an audience with the powers-that-be in Central Government, taking David Cameron, Nick Clegg and opposition leaders to task on issues of concern to young people – as well as Corby’s street lghts.

They joined ten other pupils from other schools countrywide for a full day of interviews with influential politicians in London, as part of the BBC School Report project.

Harry, from Corby, said: “It’s been a great experience and it’s been such a hectic day.

“I asked Nick Clegg and David Cameron about the county council’s budget cuts and the street lights being turned off, but they said it was more of a county council matter.

“Nick Clegg and David Cameron were a bit reserved but we had a really good debate with Ed Miliband.

“It’s been a great day, I felt like a political correspondent.

William, from Broughton, said: “I sat next to David Cameron when we all met him, which was quite an experience.

“It was a really good day and I’ve learned a lot about interviewing.”

The interviews will be broadcast on Radio 4 programme The World at One.

Claire Howsam, English and media teacher at the school, said: “They have had the opportunity to do what most of us will never do – put their concerns direct to the Prime Minister.

“To be chosen to take part in the interviews is a great honour and we are very proud of the way William and Harry have represented CBA.

“It has been a fantastic project for our students. It has taught them news values and encouraged them to engage in current affairs.”

CBA was selected by the BBC to be one of six schools to take part in the leader interviews after participating in the BBC School Report Project.

The project has seen the school’s students undertaking journalistic training and they put together last term’s school magazine.

Acting principal John Henrys said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the Prime Minister and put to him the issues facing young people in today’s society.”