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2 July, 2008

Cranleigh School, Surrey wins National Youth Parliament Competition with debate on fighting obesity

News release: EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 WEDNESDAY 2nd July 2008

Cranleigh School, Cranleigh, Surrey has been named overall Winner of the Citizenship Foundation's National Youth Parliament Competition 2007/2008.

The 35-strong Cranleigh School team led the competition against 120 secondary schools with an informed and impassioned debate on ‘Combating obesity in 21st century Britain'. The team will be attending the Prize Winners' Reception in the Attlee Suite at Portcullis House, Westminster at 12 noon on Wednesday 2nd July 2008 before an invited audience of politicians, educationalists and opinion formers. Prizes for the finalist schools (see below) will be awarded by leading MPs.

The judging panel of MPs from the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties applauded the team's performance in delivering: "A good interactive debate not just set piece speeches" based on "good research on issues and crossover from health to other areas". They also rewarded the team for their "fluent presentations" and ability to create an "excellent atmosphere".

The judges also nominated individual Awards for Cranleigh School team members. Patrick ‘Paddy' Harman was named ‘Best Minister', Benedict Sanderson was named ‘Best Opposition Minister' and Jess Whitehead was named ‘Best Backbencher'.

Cranleigh School's entry was judged by a panel of 16 MPs and Ministers, including Roger Gale Conservative MP for North Thanet, who described the competition, now in its seventeenth successful year as: "A good stamping ground for tomorrow's Parliamentary awkward squad!" The other finalist schools contributed debates on: the reduction of the minimum voting age to 16, introduction of a compulsory DNA database, and abolition of the British monarchy. MPs from all parties supported the schools.

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive at the Citizenship Foundation congratulated Cranleigh School on winning the National Youth Parliament Competition: "With citizenship issues at the very heart of the UK news agenda this award demonstrates tremendous enthusiasm of young people for debating the tough issues we all confront. We congratulate the commitment of all the citizenship-rich schools who entered the Competition and for providing young people with the knowledge, skills, dispositions and the confidence to play their role within society through the citizenship curriculum and beyond."

Complete List of Awards National Youth Parliament Competition 2007/2008

Overall Winner
  • Cranleigh School, Cranleigh, Surrey
Joint Runners Up
  • Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury
  • Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre
Best Minister
  • Patrick ‘Paddy' Harman, Cranleigh School
Best Opposition Minister
  • Benedict Sanderson, Cranleigh School
Best Speaker
  • Richard Ball, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury
Best Backbencher
  • Jess Whitehead, Cranleigh School
Best Question Time
  • Wolfreton School, Hull
Best Prime Minister (Prime Minister's Question Time)
  • James Underwood, Wolfreton School, Hull
Best Leader of the Opposition (Prime Minister's Question Time)
  • Joe Roberston, Wolfreton School, Hull
Joint Winners Best Press Officer
  • Robert May's School, Odiham, Hampshire
  • Bex Bailey, Rushcliffe School West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire.


Jack Petchey Foundation logo Ministry of Justice logo Parliamentary Education Service logo



Further information

To find out more please email:

Notes for editors:

Media Contact

For further information, to attend the awards ceremony and for filming and photo opportunities please contact: Sue Garland Media Relations Manager, Citizenship Foundation sue.garland@citizenshipfoundation.org.uk T: 020 7566 5034 M: 07720 288 438

Notes to Editors and pictures desks

The prize winners' reception will be hosted by the Parliamentary Education Service and Citizenship Foundation Trustee John Sopel on Wednesday 2nd July at 12.40pm in The Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster, London SW1A 2LW. The Winning team will be taken on a tour of the House of Commons by Anne Milton, Conservative MP for Guildford. After the close of the event at 2pm all the award winning teams will take a celebration trip on the British Airways London Eye.

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no.801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, it focuses on developing young people's citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. Its work includes resources, training, active learning programmes, community projects and research. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

The National Youth Parliament Competition

The National Youth Parliament Competition helps bring to life the process of Parliament, government and politics. Teams of 11-18 year olds recreate the parliamentary chamber, taking on the roles of government, opposition and backbench MPs and make a 20 minute video of their mock parliamentary debate based on the second reading of a bill. The Competition is funded by the Ministry of Justice, Parliamentary Education Service and the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Cross party MP judging panel NYPC 2007/2008

Annette Brooke Lib. Dem. MP for Mid Dorset & Poole North;

Huw Irranca-Davies Labour MP for Ogmore;

Dr Richard Taylor Independent MP for Wyre Forest;

Sandra Gidley Lib. Dem. MP for Romsey;

The Rt. Hon. Mr Michael Jack Conservative MP for Fylde;

Jo Swinson Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire;

Bridget Prentice Labour MP for Lewisham East;

Gordon Marsden Labour MP for Blackpool South;

Tim Loughton Conservative MP for East Worthing & Shoreham;

Sir Patrick Cormack Conservative MP for South Staffordshire;

Roger Gale Conservative MP for North Thanet;

Dr Alan Whitehead Labour MP for Southampton Test;

Dari Taylor Labour MP for Stockton South;

The Rt. Hon. George Howarth Labour MP for Knowsley North & Sefton East;

Don Foster, Lib. Dem. MP for Bath;

Stephen Williams Lib. Dem. MP for Bristol West.

Additional judges

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive Citizenship Foundation;

Don Rowe, Director, Curriculum Development and Resources Citizenship Foundation;

Dinendra Haria, Youth Engagement Project Manager, Democratic Engagement Branch, Electoral Policy Division, Ministry of Justice (MOJ);

Laura Fenton Parliamentary Education Service (PES).

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