Schoolchildren from the North East are set to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg after winning a regional competition.

The competition was organised by Europe Direct Durham, which is managed by Durham County Council, and asked pupils to script a news bulletin report in more than one European language.

The writers of the winning scripts, which centred on the subject of post-Brexit freedom of movement, were then invited to film their entries at a special film school in Newcastle.

The winners will spend the day in Strasbourg debating issues of importance to young people across the continent.

The debates will take the same form as discussion in the European Parliament, in committee and plenary forms, and the 600 young people who attend will take the chairs of the MEPs for the day.

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Every year, the European Parliament opens its doors to young people from the 28 Member states of the EU, in what is a fantastic opportunity for inquisitive young minds to flex their democratic muscles and engage in lively debate with their international counterparts.

“And for the last six years, we’ve been successful in sending a youth delegation to the parliament for these special ‘Euroscola’ days, and I hope they will come and talk to me about it when they return.”

The winning schools, which will represent the North East at the Euroscola event, are Teesdale School, Durham Johnston School, Consett Academy and Emmanuel Academy (Gateshead).

The 22 sixth formers and their teachers will travel to Strasbourg on Wednesday 21 March and join their 600 peers on Thursday 22 March.