Schools Questions & Answers

Students aged 14 to 19 have the chance to work with BBC producers and presenters on BBC Radio 4's 'Any Questions?' or to produce a BBC webcast live from their school.

Schools Questions & Answers aims to help schools improve students' speaking and listening skills and to engage young people in society and politics.

How the competition works

Every secondary school in the UK is eligible to take part in Schools Questions & Answers and make use of a set of free teaching resources designed to support the citizenship curriculum.

The challenge has four phases:

  • Phase one - launch 
    Students are challenged to record a five minute radio or television debate on a topic of their choice. Free teacher training workshops are available to help you - see below.
  • Phase two - enter 
    Schools should submit their recorded debates by 4 December 2011. Winners and finalists will be announced on 23 January 2012.
  • Phase three - winners 
    All winners will receive workshops on political literacy and communication in their school, run by Parliament's Education Service, between February and May 2012. Three winning schools will also help to produce broadcasts of 'Any Questions?' live from their school, while three others will work on live BBC webcasts. The recordings will take place between March and July 2012.
  • Phase four - finalists 
    The nine schools chosen as finalists will be invited to the Houses of Parliament for a winners' day, where they will tour the historic Palace of Westminster and meet parliamentarians.

Visit the official Schools Questions & Answers website for full details on how to enter.

Training events

Free training sessions are available around the UK to help you support your students in the competition. Training will include information about how the UK Parliament and devolved legislatures work, and tips on how schools can get involved in the 2011-12 Schools Questions & Answers.

Training dates:

  • Edinburgh, Scottish Parliament - 30 September
  • Cardiff, National Assembly for Wales - 5 October
  • London, UK Parliament - 6 October
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland Assembly - 11 October

To register, call our bookings line on 020 7219 4496 or email us.


Free citizenship resources

Schools Questions & Answers has produced resources to support the citizenship curriculum, including toolkits on Politics and Parliament, Voting and Referendums, and Communication Skills. You’ll also find resources on how to run a debate or event in your school or community.

Schools Questions & Answers is supported by the Institute for Citizenship, the BBC and Parliament’s Education Service.


Schools Question Time 2010-11

In 2010 - 11, the competition was called the Schools Question Time Challenge and the winners worked with David Dimbleby to help produce an edition of BBC Question Time, broadcast on 7 July 2011. They assisted with audience management, helping the panellists and creating a highlights film.

2010-11 Winners

The winning schools were:

  • The Belvedere Academy, Liverpool
  • St. Ninians High School, Isle of Man
  • Whitley Bay High School
  • Worksop College

Congratulations to all of them.

Regional finalists

All finalists held their own Question Time events in their schools, learning about politics, Parliament, and holding decision-makers to account.

  • St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, London
  • Harrogate Ladies' College, Yorkshire
  • Adams' Grammar School, West Midlands
  • Whitley Bay High School, North East and Cumbria
  • The Belvedere Academy, North West
  • Worksop College, East Midlands
  • John Hampden Grammar School, South
  • St Mary's Grammar School, Northern Ireland
  • Woking College, South East
  • High School for Girls, Gloucester, West
  • Dame Alice Owen's School, East
  • Gwernyfed High School, Wales
  • Wallace High School, Scotland
  • St. Ninians High School, North West
  • Swakeleys School, London    

Find out more

Parliament is not responsible for the content of external links.

Booking and enquiries

Education Service
Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 2TT
020 7219 4496

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