BBC News Interactive School ReportBBC News Interactive School Report
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 18:51 GMT
UK pupils hit News Day deadline
Paddington Academy students
Students faced strict deadlines to get their reports on air
Young reporters at hundreds of schools across the UK have been making news on TV, radio and online as part of the BBC's School Report News Day.

Top subjects covered included the Budget, teenage violence, school uniforms, homework and drinking.

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

Parks for the elderly and horseracing tips were also on the agenda.

X Factor

More than 280 schools in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland took part in the day, with many teams hitting the 1400 GMT deadline.

Students at the Belfast Boys' Model School asked Ian Paisley some extremely serious questions, such as how he saw the future of Northern Ireland. But he was also asked: "How do you eat your Creme Egg?"

And Conservative leader David Cameron was made visibly uncomfortable when the students George Green's School in east London focused on what he had been like at their age - with questions about kisses.

The Budget
Under-age drinking
Teenage violence
School uniforms
Green issues and climate change

"I think it would be a bit unfair if I said on live television," he said when asked who was the first person he kissed.

Elsewhere, triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, X Factor singer Ray Quinn, female professional boxer Laura Saperstein and EastEnders actor Dave Spinx were among the celebrities to feature in reports.

However, it was the Budget, delivered by Chancellor Alistair Darling on Wednesday, that seemed to feature high on most news agendas, with School Reporters researching its impact on local people.

Chloe and Brad at King Edwards VII School in Leicester focused on the proposed increase in child benefit, while Park House pupils in Newbury, Berkshire, interviewed their deputy head, Kate Robinson-Slater, about whether the announced extra funding for science would be seen in their school.

They have learned that they have to work in a team and they really understand they have got to be factual and they have got to research
English teacher Gill Cook

Problems with under-age drinking also featured in many schools' broadcasts, including at St Boniface's Catholic College in Plymouth.

Another serious subject to be tackled was gang violence, which was taken up by young reporters at Chiswick Community College in London.

Issues affecting life within schools were also popular, especially the question of homework and whether students should wear a uniform.

School uniforms were discussed and researched at St Marylebone School in London, with members of Year 8 questioning whether they were a good idea.

'Save our school'

The Hertfordshire and Essex High School for girls also focused on uniform - in particular moves at the school to change it.

Kathryn, 12, said: "Our head said if pupils wanted a different shade of uniform it would need to be different to other schools in the area. She also liked the idea of trousers."

Other young reporting teams, including students at Fairfield High School in Cheshire, chose stories that would affect their own educational futures.

"We've done a story on the project to save our school," said student reporter Dale, 13, of the television piece they did examining the decision by the local council to merge their school with another local high school."

English teacher Gill Cook, from Featherstone High School in Middlesex, concluded that the students had gained a great deal from the day.

"They have learned that they have to work in a team and they really understand they have got to be factual and they have got to research, and for the first time they have got to really think about the words."

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