Students’ views on ‘London’s priority’ judged at Old Bailey

Students from two schools in London will appear before judges at the Old Bailey later this month to argue their case for the most serious issues facing the capital.

Journalists and media photographers are being given special permission to attend the Sheriffs’ London Challenge, which will be held in front of over 100 guests in Court Number 1. (Please see Notes for Editors’ for details).

Judges Anuja Dhir and Sarah Munro will be joined by Sheriff of London William Russell to hear the two teams deliver presentations addressing the question, “What is London’s most important priority?” From their positions at the Treasury and Defence Counsel seats, the Year 12 students from Oasis Academy Enfield will talk about housing, while Academy of Excellence Stratford will claim that, by redressing the poverty gap between east and west London, the capital will become a fairer city. After hearing the presentations and considering its verdict, the panel will announce which team presented the most persuasive case.

The event on Monday 27 March is the final heat of the Sheriffs’ London Challenge, which is organised by the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies, in co-operation with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. It is supported by the City of London Corporation, which owns and manages the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey).

Sheriff of London Peter Estlin said:

The students must present their cases in a very clear and persuasive way and not only are they required to do so in front of a large audience, they are facing three judges in the most iconic courtroom of the most famous criminal court in the world. That is the challenge laid down before them, and we are delighted that these young people are tackling it with relish. It will be very interesting to hear their views on housing and poverty in London, and to find out how the judges arrived at their decision.”

Following the presentations and the announcement of the winning team, Lady Mayoress Wendy Parmley will present the students with an engraved cup, certificates, and badges from the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund charity.

The City of London Corporation invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The Sheriffs’ London Challenge will be held in Court No 1 at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on Monday 27 March at 5.45pm. Journalists who wish to attend the event and interview the winning team and Sheriff Peter Estlin are asked to contact Andrew Buckingham (see below). Places will be strictly limited.

For security reasons, photographers will be granted exclusive, but restricted, access to photograph the event. Photographs of the winning team will also be permitted in Grand Hall.

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.