Bradford pupils swap classroom for courtroom in competition

First published in News

Teenagers at three schools swapped the classroom for the courtroom as part of a national competition.

Pupils at Beckfoot School, Bingley, Belle Vue Girls’ School in Bradford, and Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton took on the roles of witnesses, lawyers, magistrates and court officials for a mock trial at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

It was for the National Magistrates’ Court Mock Trials competition, which sees teams of pupils use carefully constructed witness statements to prepare the prosecution and defence for a specially-written criminal case.

The Bradford heat, which was judged by magistrates, was won by the Beckfoot team, who will now go to the regional final in May. Last year, Beckfoot finished third overall in the national competition.

Guest of honour, the High Sheriff of Yorkshire Virginia Lloyd, said: “This has been the most incredible Saturday morning I have had in my year of office. You are all wonderful and capable and articulate young people. You should all feel very proud of yourselves.”

Beryl Eakin, chairman of Bradford and Keighley magistrates, praised the children for their “hard work, time and quality”.

The national competition is run jointly by the Citizenship Foundation and the National Magistrates' Association, with funding from the Ministry of Justice.

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