Page last updated at 18:32 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

UK pupils produce headline news

Students in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, presenting their 1400 radio bulletin
The young reporters had two deadlines throughout the day

Thousands of young people from more than 500 schools around the UK have been making the headlines for BBC News School Report.

Sats tests, cervical cancer, green issues and the credit crunch were among the hottest topics.

Pupils, aged 11 to 14, also quizzed politicians, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and First Ministers Alex Salmond and Peter Robinson.

Reports and bulletins for TV, radio and online were produced for News Day.

Pupils from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were supported by BBC staff and teachers, and they were kept busy filming or interviewing ahead of the big day.

The budding reporters had two deadlines to hit. At 1400 GMT, they broadcast to a real classroom audience and then at 1600 GMT, their work went live on the school's website.

The School Report channel was available on the red button throughout the day.

Feathery friends

There were some famous faces and voices in many of the reports, including Olympians Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Kelly Holmes.

The first scoop of the day came from Wirral Grammar School for Boys, who had an exclusive interview with Keith Harris and his feathered friend Orville.

Year 8 pupil Harry said: "Orville was quite funny, he was making jokes, but Keith was very serious with a very posh voice. I asked him if Orville has a girlfriend - he said no, because he's been too busy."

Green issues
Credit crunch
Cervical cancer
Sats tests
Underage drinking
Cyber bullying
School dinners

Putting their new journalism skills into action, young reporters from Park High School in Stanmore, north London, stopped Work Minister Tony McNulty in the street and asked him about the investigation into his expenses.

Several of the UK's top politicians were given a grilling by the School Reporters.

The economy was a massive issue and teenagers from three schools were able to quiz Chancellor Alistair Darling, Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne and the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable on the origins of the credit crunch.

Goody legacy

School Secretary Ed Balls was given a hard time by two pupils, who said he was "surprisingly direct" about Sats tests and school dinners.

Waad, who is in Year 8 at Clapton Girls Technology College in the London borough of Hackney, said: "He said there were problems last year and there probably would be this year, which is why he has stopped them, but he did not say what he planned to do about it. He did say he didn't plan to scrap Sats."

Reality TV star Jade Goody's public battle with cervical cancer and her legacy were widely discussed.

Girls at Heathfield School in Middlesex were among those who piloted a controversial new cervical cancer vaccine for 12 and 13-year-old girls.

Young journalists at the school spoke to pupils who said Goody had raised awareness of the disease and her death would have a lasting influence on awareness of cervical cancer.

In other news, students from Hillcrest school in Birmingham investigated claims that Birmingham Town Hall is haunted, while students at St Joseph's College in Dumfries tackled the menacing seagulls in their town.


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