DOZENS of driven teenagers have come together for a venture designed to prompt change and preserve democracy.

Around 70 of the brightest young minds from schools across the North descended on Barnard Castle School for a day-long Democracy in Education conference supported by the RSA – the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Students heard from speakers on democracy, including Adam Cronkright, author of Putting Everyday Democracy into Practice, before working on a 90 second video to take back to their peers with the theme “a Manifesto for a 21st Century Democracy”.

David Cresswell, deputy headteacher at Barnard Castle School said: "The aim was to come together as a community of problem-solvers, to draw out students’ ideas and turn them into action, to unite people and ideas to solve the challenges of our time and to create a world where everyone can participate in creating a better future.”

Students will now work on a democracy action plan which will be reviewed by the Tees Valley Sixth Form Democracy Council before presenting their experiences of the programme to RSA London.

Schools and colleges interested in joining the project can contact