The Schools Minister has given an audience top marks for their “passion for current affairs” after being questioned by an assembly of East Hampshire students.

More than 120 students from Bedales, Bohunt and The Petersfield School showed their class to Damian Hinds MP during a Question Time-style panel discussion. 

Questions about education, democracy, refugees and the Middle East were asked during the ‘Education in an Uncertain World” discussion hosted by Bedales.

The event based on the popular BBC show was chaired by Nick Gregory, who teaches history and politics at Bedales.

Sally Codling (Bohunt) and Ollie Dodd (Bedales) were the student representatives on the panel, which included Neil Strowger, Bohunt headteacher and Bohunt Educational Trust leader, and Will Goldsmith, Bedales headteacher.

Students posed questions about education attainment and reform, religion in schools, the role for schools in the Middle East and the forthcoming general election. Their questions were well received by Mr Hinds and the panel, with the discussion raising a wide range of insights.

“I always enjoy taking part in these Question Time debates and being put through my paces by the students,” said Mr Hinds.

“Their thoughtful and challenging questions demonstrated an impressive knowledge, understand and passion for current affairs and a real interest in the societal issues facing us all.”

Mr Goldsmith said: “Student voice is such a strong feature of a Bedales education, so it is fitting we have created this event with Bohunt, bringing students and school leaders together for public discourse.”

Mr Strowger added: “The Question Time afternoon is a prime example of the ambitious and immersive learning opportunities offered to Bohunt students that extend beyond the confines of the classroom.

“Once again, I found it immensely enjoyable to be part of this engaging event, which nurtures intellectual curiosity and fosters critical thinking.”