Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Thursday, 24 March 2011

School Report: News Day highlights

Back and bigger than ever, the 2011 School Report saw pupils from around the country grill influential people such as Prime Minister David Cameron and England football captain John Terry.

Now in its fifth year, some 30,000 students from 815 schools took part in the news day.

David Cameron talks to school students at Downing Street
David Cameron spoke to school students at Downing Street

Schoolchildren were given the job of filming and editing their own TV news bulletin where they could cover a whole host of stories - the only limit was a 1400 deadline.

The day saw a jam-packed schedule of over seven hours of live TV and radio, all streamed on the Red Button and the School Report website.

Another first saw School Report running the a live television broadcast from the BBC's brand new studio complex at MediaCityUK in Salford.

Vampires vs wizards

During the interview with the prime minister, some of the 30 school reporters found out that he thinks there is a North-South divide, more needs to be done to encourage girls to become the political leaders and that he regretted not having a pint of Guinness when celebrating St Patrick's Day.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband was quizzed on gangs and crime and talked about what qualities a good leader needs.

On a lighter note, the father-of-two said he preferred wizards to vampires as "vampires are too scary" and he also revealed that he loved Pepperoni pizzas, TV's Desperate Housewives, dogs, baseball and fruit.

Deputy leader and the man in charge of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, was interviewed in the Cabinet Office about Libya and changes to secondary education.

England skipper John Terry
School reporters asked England captain John Terry a tough question

Other probing questions he was asked include: "Why were your university fees paid for when ours probably won't be?" ("It was the Conservatives' decision, not the Lib Dems',") and: "Why, as a smoker, are you proposing moving cigarettes below the counter?" ("My personal habits are not to be recommended.")

School reporters from St Albans School won the praise and admiration of hardened sports journalists when they asked England football captain John Terry this testing question: "You are an inspiration as a player. But what kind of role model do think you are for boys of my age?"

After thanking them for the initial compliment, Terry went on to explain what attributes he felt he had as a role model.

World affairs were popular topics tackled by the students, with many focusing on the earthquake in Japan and the fighting in Libya.

Future journalists

But it wasn't all hard news.

Most popular topics
Earthquake in Japan
Tuition fees
2012 Olympics
Elizabeth Taylor
Royal Wedding

Pupils from Kirkwall Grammar School in the Orkney Islands reported on Megan's uncle Douglas who is embarking on a 5,000 mile trip to Monaco - on a jet ski.

Archbishop Temple School in Lancashire hit news gold when they came across a local man from Longridge who's planning to run a marathon while doing keepy-uppys and School Reporters from Teesdale School And Science College in Durham were busy reporting news of an "alien landing" in Barnard Castle.

Messages of support to the School Reporters came flooding into the BBC website.

Louise Priest from Diss High School in Norfolk said there were "very promising future journalists" at the school while Esme Kennedy from Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh, said: "A massive well done to the girls for working really hard and pulling together stories on everything from pandas to ferrets."

School Report is bigger than ever
10 Mar 10 |  School Report


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