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Students get chance to quiz a top panel

PUBLISHED: 10:42 07 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:42 07 October 2014

Taking questions from the audience of sixth formers at the 'Question Time' style debate at Norwich Cathedral,(l to r) Geoff Riley, David Taylor, Chloe Smith MP, Norwich Cathedral Dean Revd Canon Jane Hedges, Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkins and Judge Jeremy Richards.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Taking questions from the audience of sixth formers at the 'Question Time' style debate at Norwich Cathedral,(l to r) Geoff Riley, David Taylor, Chloe Smith MP, Norwich Cathedral Dean Revd Canon Jane Hedges, Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkins and Judge Jeremy Richards. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

Norwich Cathedral could have been the set of a political panel show as 150 sixth form pupils debated immigration in the UK.

The ‘Question Time’ style event yesterday saw teenagers from across Norfolk quiz Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, chaplain to the Queen the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Norwich author DJ Taylor, former Eton College teacher Geoff Riley and family law Judge Jeremy Richards on the topic of ‘Immigration and Integration – can Britain Keep on Growing?’

Questions such as “would the panel agree that potential immigrants should be vetted for their ability to contribute to our society?” and “can cuts by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition be blamed for the rise in tensions over integration and immigration?” made the debate in the Hostry a fiery one.

Event co-ordinator Janet Marshal and head of schools and family learning at Norwich Cathedral, said by the end of the event there was an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote from the students in favour of immigration being a positive part of British society, although many raised the point that tougher border controls are necessary.

“These young people have a discerning grip on this crucial issue and the way in which they tackled the subject and the panel today was extremely impressive,” she said.

“For over 900 years the cathedral has been a place of welcome, questioning and prayer so we welcome this opportunity to provide our youngsters with a voice. They should be really proud of themselves.”

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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