Debate image by terovesalainen AdobeStock_165601878

As part of his police and crime commissioner election campaign, Festus Akinbusoye pledged to run an annual school debating competition for children aged 15-18.

Commissioner Akinbusoye said:

“I am delighted that we are proceeding with this event for pupils and we very much welcome all schools to participate.

“The debates provide a good opportunity for young people to develop their confidence, public speaking skills and also broaden their knowledge of social issues.

“It’s going to be a fun experience for all involved.”

The competition is non-party political and the pupils will be required to illustrate views they do not necessarily hold, for the sake of debate.

Marks will be awarded for debating skills, debating style and substance of argument.

The finalists will receive certificates, with the winning school receiving a £500 donation and the speakers each receiving a £50 Amazon voucher.

The dates for each round are as follows:

First Round:

Date: Monday 8th November 2021

Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Location: Bedford Academy, Bedford

Second Round (Semi-Finals):

Date: Wednesday 17th November 2021

Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Location: Chiltern Academy, Luton


Date: Tuesday 30th November 2021

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Location: Bedford Magistrates Court

The Competition Organiser is The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and all schools across Bedfordshire have been contacted.

The closing date for applications for the debate is 18th October 2021. If any schools would like to get in touch please email