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St Albans Cathedral Education Invites Students to Live-Tweet Conference

Fri, 14 November 2014

More than 450 students from 14 schools and colleges across Hertfordshire attended the 16th annual Sixth Form Conference organised by the award-winning St Albans Cathedral Education Centre.

This free event, based on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’, provides an opportunity for students to share in a morning of lively and challenging debate with a panel of guests which this year included Anne Main (Conservative MP for St Albans), Kerry Pollard (Labour MP for St Albans prior to Anne Main), Julie Bindel (Justice for Women), David Heinemann (Index on Censorship) and Piers Telemacque (NUS Vice President). The event was chaired by distinguished BBC journalist, Samira Ahmed.

Students were encouraged for the first time to ‘live-tweet’ their thoughts throughout the conference, using social media site Twitter as a platform to extend the lively debates which took place in the inspiring setting of the Cathedral Nave. This successful venture led to the specially created hashtag ‘#STA6FC’ trending locally on the website.

Questions presented to the guest panel included the increase of tuition fees, voting rights at 16, Middle Eastern conflicts, prisoner rehabilitation, what it means to be a feminist, domestic violence, and same-sex marriages, leading to intense debates between panellists and the student audience.

Steve Clarke, Education Officer at St Albans Cathedral, said, 'once again the quality of debate was outstanding, both from the panel and the students. It was great to see so many potential voters at next year’s general election getting so actively engaged in political and social debate.’

St Albans Cathedral Education Centre will host the conference again in 2015 and hopes that even more schools, sixth forms and colleges, will engage in this unique and invaluable opportunity for students.

For details on future events and activities organised by the Education Centre, visit www.stalbanscathedral.org/learning

Guest Panellists at the Sixth Form Conference, 2014

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