YOUNGSTERS honed their debating skills in a real council chamber.

The annual North West Primary School Debate was held at Blackburn Town Hall.

Organised by Paul Simpson, of Little Big Mouth Drama, topics included the benefits of single sex education, whether uniform should be compulsory and whether the internet is beneficial to education.

Schools taking part included St Michaels With St John CE Controlled Primary School, St Thomas CE Primary and Wensley Fold CE Primary Academy.

Donna Simpson, headteacher at Wensley Fold, said: “Learning how to debate has many benefits for primary school children.

“It helps them develop their speaking skills and ability to express themselves verbally in front of a group, which builds confidence.

“It builds their critical listening skills and their ability to respond to what other people are saying.

“Teachers find it has a knock-on effect on children’s written work, as it helps them understand how to structure their work and make their points clearly.”

She added recent research found debating can improve children’s SATs results by between six and 19 per cent.