Ilkley Grammar School student invited to take part in Any Questions radio show (From Wharfedale Observer)
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Ilkley Grammar School student invited to take part in Any Questions radio show
An Ilkley Grammar School student had a starring role at the end of the Radio 4 Any Questions broadcast from Ilkley Literature Festival.
Tom Bennett’s question, ‘Should 16-year-olds be given the vote?’ was the close question chosen from hundreds submitted, and broadcast to two million radio listeners.
He was invited to comment himself after the panellists gave their views.
Tom’s views on the event summed up his pride in being involved.
He said: “It was a great surprise to be chosen to ask a question, and although asking the question itself was very nerve-wracking, overall it was a memorable experience and something I would love to do again.”
Both headteacher Gillian James and business and finance director Ali Kaye were invited to the event, and put forward two education questions. Neither was taken up, but how they would have welcomed some answers.
They hoped to ask the panel if early or repeated GCSEs were, in the words of Michael Gove, “a damaging trend that is harming the interests of many pupils”? – and if the panel believed it was possible to create a world-class education system while alienating those responsible for implementing it?
Ilkley Grammar School sponsored last Tuesday’s performance from the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
Mrs James, chairman of governors Lindsey Wharmby, governor Keith Brown, some staff and 18 sixth form students were all treated to an inspirational mix of humour and more serious readings, interspersed with music from John Sampson.
Mrs James said: “We made the most of a photo opportunity and book signing. It was good for us to play a more prominent part in the festival and have our school thanked – both publicly from the stage and by Carol Ann herself.”
Last Wednesday afternoon, Ilkley Grammar School welcomed some of the festival to Cowpasture Road.
Melvin Burgess, whose book Junk won both the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Children’s fiction award in 1997, visited the school to speak to their Year 10 students.
He spoke about his novel Bloodtide and his most recent novel The Hit, giving an interesting commentary about the inspiration and thought processes behind his novels.